The CFO in High Tech (Accenture)

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CFOs at the Center of Technology

It’s clear, modern CFOs are no longer just finance managers. New research from Accenture takes a deep dive into how the new and improved “High-Tech CFO” has gone from head number cruncher to THE driving force behind an organization’s digital transformation.

According to Accenture’s research:

  • 80% of interviewed CFOs feel that the finance function should serve as the driver of technologies across the enterprise.
  • 85% of CFOs report that they are now playing a role in handling sensitive data that would cause significant damage and lost value if compromised or not utilized properly.
  • Nearly half of CFO respondents say that data science will be a leading skill when selecting junior finance executives.

Those are substantial numbers considering that traditionally the finance function’s primary concerns were record keeping and mitigating risk. Now, the head of finance must go further with the numbers by facilitating cross communication between multiple areas of the company, raising enterprise value, and guiding digitization.

Accenture’s CFO Action Plan

  1. Don’t be afraid to disrupt. Wading into the waters of the CIO or CTO may cause tension, but disruption is what drives innovation and economic advancement.
  2. Find new ways to fill talent gaps. There simply aren’t enough ready-made data scientists and tech whiz types to go around. Many CFOs are reaching out to collaborate with other sectors in the general tech ecosystem to develop new talent and capabilities.
  3. Drive home the importance of automation. Many employees are hesitant to embrace automation. However, automation encourages skill set expansion and creates new job responsibilities. Generating employee buy-in will be critical to future implementation.

Finance is now a key component in affecting the value of enterprise technology investments, and CFOs are responsible for leveraging these investments into more efficient operations and maximum monetization.

Read the full report, “The CFO in High Tech” here.