Whilst the changing technological landscape has had a significant impact on a variety of industries, it’s the role of the CFO that’s welcomed these changes with open arms. Through streamlined reporting practices and the increased use of data and analytics to support well-informed decisions, the below five key trends signify how Europe’s CFOs are transforming their roles within organisations to focus on agility, accuracy and analysis.
With the New Year well and truly underway, many CFOs have declared refining their reporting and analysis functions as their top 2017 goal. This new focus on data feeds into the modern CFO’s objective to support decision-making by obtaining accurate and well-informed insights. Heightening the importance of analysis is set to empower finance departments to not only achieve agility but support the evolution of the finance function as a whole, moving beyond enforcing regulation and cost control.
Despite the increased appetite for data-driven analytics and reporting in 2017, CFOs worldwide are seemingly struggling to make the most of the increased volume and speed of data available to them. This hurdle is set to see the demise of an array of outdated legacy practises, in favour of outsourced and managed systems.
As CFOs plan to improve their use of automation and analytics this year, it’s in fact finance chiefs working within the public sector that are reportedly planning to embrace technologies such as blockchain within their remit. In a recent study, the majority of public sector CFOs have stated that digital technology is a strategic priority for improving performance in 2017. It’s likely that we can expect the inclusion of digital currencies and their surrounding technologies to surge in the near future.
As finance teams are looking to maximise on agility and improve their approach to reporting and analytics, a rising number of CFOs are looking to the cloud to support these goals. Adopting cloud technology will see many firms look to put an end to their use of linked spreadsheets and overall, reduce the time required to conduct a financial close from weeks to just days.
Analysing the anatomy of the C-suite as a whole, research suggests that chief executives and finance chiefs foresee a riskier environment in 2017 compared to other members of management. Whilst this is thought to be due to the rising threat posed by cybercrime, only time will tell how great of an impact these suspected risks will incur.