Are You Ready for the Rise of CFO 3.0

In my post last week, I discussed the evolution process of the CFO. I ended that post discussing the need for awareness and insight in a world of constant change – where tax codes, exchange rates, and other factors can reconfigure the relative wealth of your firm or business hourly. Enter CFO 3.0: The Futurist. Now let’s discuss your readiness for the rise of CFO 3.0.

Who is CFO 3.0 and What Might They Be Able to Do for Your Business?

To begin with, we believe this person has mastered the previous CFO versions – Historian (CFO 1.0) and Real Time Analyst (CFO 2.0) – while also being comfortable with the changing environment of their role. Take Mana Khalkhani, CFO for SAP Italy, and her commentary on why she became a CFO despite the new role Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing in finance. To quote Mana, "Change is uncomfortable, but it's not always a bad thing." Today's CFO will become the master of advanced tactics, techniques, and strategies that range in topics from AI to Block-chain as well as the yet to be discovered advancements in technology.

The Time Machine

The finance technology stack has now become a highly tuned time machine that can streak forward and back at a moment’s notice using a wealth of data - both known and unknown. Take Marty Chavez, CFO of Goldman Sachs, for example. His entire perspective is futuristic. His doctoral dissertation was titled "Architectures and Approximation Algorithms for Probabilistic Expert Systems.” Mr. Chavez has a forward-thinking mentality in everything he does and is quoted here describing his role as follows: "I’m not paid or evaluated on the accuracy of my crystal-ball predictions. I’m paid to enumerate every possible outcome and do something about every possible outcome well in advance, when it’s still possible to do something, because once it’s happened it’s too late.”

Strategy Takes Center Stage

CFO 3.0 isn't just about numbers; CFOs are now adopting attributes of the COO and carrying a predisposition towards strategy. Bain & Company discusses the importance of strategy in this recent article and states that 41% of the CFOs surveyed would like to spend more time being strategic.

McKinsey & Company's Ryan Davies and Douglas Huey describe this change of role and need from the CFO office as a search to clarify which initiatives create value for the organization. Without insight and data, this is an impossible job where you are left guessing due to "limited time and resources available."

No matter what approach you take in 2018, ensure that you have the right people, process, and technology in place so that you can set yourself up for success. To learn more about why thought leaders from your industry have established their foothold for success using Sage Intacct, check out why we’re different – and why it matters.

[ Published: January 19, 2018 ]