I often enjoy playing with the Google “auto complete” function. At times, it can almost be a party game. For example, once you start typing in “I wish that…” the heart almost skips a beat as you can anticipate the insights into humanity that will soon flash across your screen. The results?
I wish that…
- …were me
- …I knew what I know now
- …I could be like the cool kids
- …I had duck feet
(I will admit that I checked out the last one. To my relief, “I wish that I had duck feet” points to a Dr. Seuss book.)
For this post, I wanted to write about CFOs and their role in information management. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. I’ve long seen the role of the CFO is changing – and changing quickly.
So in starting a bit of research, I typed “CFOs are…” into the search bar and waited for the magic auto complete to give me something interesting. The first result? “CFOS are…the new digital apostles”. What a winner. It linked me to an Accenture report of the same name (worth downloading) that highlights exactly the point I wanted to make -- for many organizations, the CFO is the new CIO.
“CFOs are no longer content to allow their more technical counterparts to drive digital adoption. With a premium placed on shareholder value, they cannot afford to take a secondary role—business insight and digital are inextricably tied. The CFO of the future is not a technical architect, but rather a leader in linking digital technologies to ROI—spearheading digital finance.”
This represents an enormous opportunity for future-leaning CFOs. Not only can they dramatically improve operations and reduce costs (a traditional role for the CFO), but to also leverage this experience to become the hub for digital business process transformation initiatives throughout the organization.
Financial processes are unique in that the information and documents that are created by and surround financial processes are used in countless other processes and departments.
In addition, everyday compliance and regulatory concerns associated with managing information assets – especially for companies that do business internationally (think GDPR!) – bring the CFO squarely in IT conversations and strategy.
This growing tie between effective information and document management and security, customer privacy and compliance creates a new set of leadership opportunities for CFOs.
Embracing change and automating financial processes can create long-term benefits for both the CFO and the organization. It positions the CFO as a powerful force in the broader corporate objective of digital transformation and business process transformation.