The role of CFOs has evolved from managing financial activities to a critical driver of growth, digitisation, and overall business innovation. As business strategies and customer requirements changed based on the ongoing market conditions, the need for businesses to transform has invariably created new responsibilities for CFOs. Although the shift had been in motion for quite some time, it accelerated only after the pandemic. Today, CFOs are experiencing intense pressure triggered by the pandemic and the ensuing economic downturn. However, beyond the current catastrophe, the need to integrate technology and data into business strategy and build an agile workforce remains essential.

The Evolving Role Of CFOs

Further to maintaining their conventional duties, CFOs must possess unique qualities to navigate and even lead technological transformation. This requires being creative, flexible, forward-looking, and faster decision-making, even during stressful situations. With so many competing forces and hurdles, the finance team needs to function strategically and support the business through various AR and AP automation tools for enhanced business processes. Amidst the rapidly changing world, CFOs pivot from the standard working methods to focussing on several critical issues remains the mainstay. Below are a few key aspects CFOs should consider.

Strategic Alternatives

The world has undergone a massive change due to the pandemic outbreak. For CFOs, this enormous shift has translated into the sheer need to take strategic decisions to survive and thrive amidst the ever-evolving business scenario. Business transformation and automation isn’t a new concept, but what changed is the fact that they ought to become a reality – and fast.

Building An Enhanced Finance Function

With CFOs contributing more to newer priorities, the finance operations must function with enhanced capabilities and greater creativity. The finance team must be robust, agile and entirely centred on the fundamental aspects of analytics, situational modelling and planning to assist real-time decision-making amidst any crisis situation.

Automation Is The Key

Automation remains the key for CFOs to meet stakeholders’ expectations and respond quickly to the changing market requirements and short-term crisis. Prior to the pandemic, several businesses were embracing automation in some way; however, now the time has arrived to restart these projects in an urgent manner. It is to be noted that automation of financial processes will lead to enhanced business operations.

Strategising Business Decisions

The CFO instantly became the go-to person to help drive organisations through challenging territories amidst the pandemic. Thus, maintaining liquidity, decreasing costs, enhancing operations, and forecasting cash flow to provide financial assistance became pivotal to survival. But as the months have advanced, CFOs must create, validate, and implement business strategy alongside other stakeholders.

The Bottomline

CFOs that will thrive over the upcoming days and into the future will be those that show the most significant leadership at all levels, providing direction underpinned by purpose, honesty, and authenticity. With increased levels of responsibility and accountability, the role of CFOs is now much more diverse, given its importance to a business’s ongoing factors. Having said that, CFOs that will flourish in the upcoming months and into the future will be those that depict the most significant leadership at all levels, giving direction underpinned by purpose.

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