The CFO’s role is evolving in many industries, but nowhere as radically as in industries that use cloud computing and related technologies. Instead of a narrow focus on financial duties, CFOs are using their proficiency with data analytics to provide leadership in driving sales and guiding business strategy, an article on CFO.com reports.
As CFOs take on these new roles, they can use the cloud to lessen the burden of many accounting tasks, from AP automation to invoice processing. These CFOs are adding value to their organizations in several new ways, according to CFO.com.
- Emphasizing analytics. Many of these CFOs come from financial planning and analytics backgrounds, rather than traditional accounting and treasury paths.
- Hands-on. When it comes to data, they get down to the nitty-gritty, often running their own reports and analysis.
- Using customer behavior to model profitability. As sales data piles up, CFOs are using “big data” to gain a more precise, specific understanding of a customer’s acquisition cost and projected value to the company.
- Refining growth-oriented business models. Instead of deferring to operating plans that focus on past performance, CFOs (along with data-savvy CEOs and investors) rely on a broad understanding of the company’s market and current business activities to optimize business strategy.
As CFOs take on these new roles, you might wonder what happens to their previous duties. One answer is that the cloud is lessening the burden of many accounting functions, whether that’s through AP automation, streamlining expense report software, or invoice processing.
Simultaneously, the cloud is enabling companies to access the powerful analytics platforms that these hands-on CFOs need for their new roles. Together, an analytics platform and expense management software can provide greater transparency across cost centers and departments as well as user-friendly interfaces and dashboards that make it easy to prepare detailed, actionable reports to guide decision-making.
As always, we appreciate your feedback. What are the benefits of CFOs moving in these new directions? Which of these benefits does your industry need?
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Our choice of Chrome River EXPENSE was made in part due to the very user-friendly interface, easy configurability, and the clear commitment to impactful customer service – all aspects in which Chrome River was the clear winner. While Chrome River is not as large as some of the other vendors we considered, we found that to be a benefit and our due diligence showed that it could support us as well as any large players in the space, along with a personalized level of customer care.
We are excited to be able to enforce much more stringent compliance to our expense guidelines and significantly enhance our expense reporting and analytics. By automating these processes, we will be able to free up AP time formerly spent on manual administrative tasks, and enhance the role by being much more strategic.