A smart CFO needs to deploy a more comprehensive role in today’s complex world.
“A competent Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is critical in developing business strategy”, said Mr. Benjamin Pwee, CEO of E-Deo Asia, an Asian-based business consulting firm specializing in business development, when compareing traditional CFO versus today’s CFO.
Mr. Benjamin Pwee, CEO of E-Deo Asia
A traditional CFO is thought to be a chief accountant or auditor, who controls every dollar and cent, follows orders and instructions of CEO, and organizes and files all financial reporting documents.
Today, the CFO role is more complex. A CFO must be in charge of process compliance, corporate accountability, performance management in terms of data analysis and not just performance numbers. A CFO must also think of himself as a strategic business partner whose priority is also business development.
Mr. Pwee emphasized all CFOs need to master low-level analysis of tracking and reporting finance in the short-term, and forecasting and budgeting in the long-term. Advanced level CFOs, on the other hand, are required to make tactical decisions in the short-term and plan business development in the long-term.
Mr. Joseph Alfred, Head of Policy at Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Singapore
A smart CFO needs to deploy a more comprehensive role in today’s complex world. According to Mr. Joseph Alfred, Head of Policy at Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Singapore, there are six factors that differentiate tomorrow’s smart CFOs and finance controllers from the rest.
They will need to assess risk holistically. They will also support the enterprise strategy through smart business partnering by structuring finances that is aligned with business priorities. They must be integrated thinkers who look less at balance sheets and more at intangible assets such as talent or brand.
CFOs in the future will also be people-centric: Developing structure with people at heart; data-centric: Making strategic decisions based on data and not “gut feel”; and ultimately increasing work productivity and effectiveness though technology and automated process.