The role of the CFO has evolved considerably in the last decade. Thanks to the continuing intersection of most finance and IT departments, today’s CFOs have digital technology on their minds — in a more strategic sense. Many are finding themselves in a unique position to leverage digital technology to accelerate organizational initiatives and facilitate change across many areas of the business. And as a result, we’re seeing CFOs take a greater interest in technology investments and OK’ing the necessary spending to make them happen.
It’s not about keeping pace; it’s about staying ahead
Last year’s CFO Insights on New Technologies from Grant Thornton and CFO Research finds that 69% of CFOs plan to increase the money spent on technology investments that accelerate business change. As the study suggests, the adoption of new technology correlates with the immediate value it can bring to an organization — including better data quality, more streamlined reporting, optimized processes and reduced costs.
While the near-term objective is to optimize business processes, the ultimate goal for any technology investment is to improve the customer experience — with services that set your organization apart from the competition. So it makes sense that 41% of CFOs now say their companies’ upcoming digital investments are meant to help them overtake their competition through differentiation.
CFO analytics anxiety
Despite their plans to adopt new technology, the study also pinpoints one major concern: overall readiness. Almost 90% of CFOs feel they’re lacking much-needed skills in data analytics, and three quarters recognize their need to improve, while also securing leadership talent and finding adequate staff to fill day-to-day finance functions.
When it comes to staff readiness, CFOs are also considering the future once automation technology becomes common practice. Fifty-two percent would prefer to retrain existing staff, compared to 20% who would recruit new talent or 17% who would opt to outsource the work.
Outsourcing can offer CFOs a competitive edge — giving companies more time to focus on their strengths and high-value strategic tasks rather than the day-to-day number crunching. From bookkeeping, payroll and bill paying to audit assistance, a third-party team can handle finance-related tasks at every level, providing the technology and processes so CFOs can focus on bigger goals. Whether outsourced or in-house, the consensus is clear: new technology can support smarter decisions and drive more strategic efforts for the greater good of a company.
Find out how Magone & Company can help your organization operate more efficiently with the right technology, data and controls. Give us a call today at (973) 301-2300.