5 Ways CFOs Will Impact Their Companies in 2018

almost 5 years ago by Tabatha Penny

Cfo Meeting

Accounting Today have put together an interesting list of changes that we'll see in the CFO role. Read on to understand more about how they story tell when crunching the numbers that provide an insight into the way businesses make their decisions. 

1. By using a broader and more accessible range of tools available today, such as automation, business intelligence and integration, finance is leading the charge in analysing data more effectively to offer valuable business insight. Indeed, financewill lead the adoption of analytics at board level and other departments. We'll see finance's role move from 80/20 to a 20/80 split in terms of time spent on data consolidation v analysis, and a similar shift in its value to the organisation. 

2. With technology no longer a barrier to data consolidation, every bit of data being collected can now be used to tell more of the business's story. This applies especially to the use of non-financial data in traditional planning and reporting, offering a true holistic look in terms of what is working - or not - for the business. In 2018, finance teams will intergrate more and more non-financial data into their analysis to deliver a more comprehensive look at the state of their organisations. 

3. The most strategic CFOs focus on the future, not the past. Being able to collect and analyse data from other parts of the business, such as sales, marketing and operations, empowers finance with its own crystal ball. CFOs in 2018 will be leading the board in making more data-driven long-term plans, using tools like scenario forecasting and predictive analysis, based on data from across the organisation. 

4. In many ways, finance operates as the business's own investigative unit - uncovering and deciphering stories behind the numbers that provide valuable insight to the board. With more tools and technology at its disposal, finance is able to uncover aswers to questions that the board may not even be asking today, particularly around revenue performance. From the most effective marketing campaigns to the least profitable customers, finance will play a lead role in identifying what truly drives their companies' revenues, what today is largely the untold story behind their top line. 

5. Historically, the CFOs role has revolved around financial reporting and risk mitigation (cash flow, data accuracy, regulatory compliance, etc.) The modern CFO embraces the fact that enterprise leaders are not looking just for data, but for the insights behind them and the stories they tell. The most successful ones will hone their communication skills, dig for insights beyond financial statement numbers, and anticipate the questions of their fellow board members to tell the most effective story of their companies' past, present and future. The CFOs evolution to chief storyteller lies in translating company-wide data into actionable insights, planning for a variety of future scenarios and directly influencing strategic decisions. 

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