How strategic Chief Finance Officers utilise data

March 11th 2022 | Posted by Mark Masson

Modern Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) understand that they now play a major role in the strategic direction of their organisation.

In order to be successful in doing this, CFOs are moving on from traditional financial reporting skills to utilising data in a more insightful and meaningful way.

This is enabling them to have a more substantial role in formulating the strategic development of the organisation they work for.

Moving on from presenting to interpreting data

The traditional finance role of producing spreadsheet data that often was not fully understood by business leaders is now being transformed into something very different. Top CFOs embrace the opportunities that the changes represent.

They are now involved with the interpretation of data across a variety of areas including mergers and acquisitions and capital structure. They have a responsibility to convert pure numbers into KPIs that are centred on the goals of the business and can be understood by the senior team and throughout the organisation.

Rapid time-to-insight is key

Top CFOs know that rapid time-to-insight is essential when analysing Big Data and deriving insights that are of value to the organisation. Having the technology in place to give CFOs access to this rapid time-to-insight means that business has valuable insights to drive their way forward and their market strategies.

The confidence that business leaders gain from the information provided by CFOs and their finance teams permeates throughout the organisation. This helps to enhance performance and protect profitability.

Wider business background is an asset

Given the wider strategic role that CFOs now fulfil in organisations, the most successful professionals find it useful to have a background in business as well as finance. Possessing this type of background enables them to understand the potential impact of the insights they derive from analysing Big Data.

For professionals who do not have a diverse business background, there are ways of achieving a more holistic view. This can be achieved through the use of mentors or by spending time in areas of the organisation outside of the finance realm.

Strategic thinking is driving finance forward

The extended influence of CFOs is working alongside a new more strategic way of thinking in finance departments. This presents challenges for organisations that do not want the expense of vastly expanding the size of their finance function in order to meet more testing demands.

Technology is being used to reduce these expenses. It enables organisations to develop lean and agile finance teams. These teams work under modern forward-thinking CFOs to bring real-time strategic insights to the business. This data-driven strategic information enables organisations to achieve long-term growth of revenue.

It’s clear the role of a CFO has evolved over recent years. These finance professionals are now at the strategic centre of businesses. They are playing a pivotal role in the success of organisations by using technology to enable rapid time-to-insight and by employing their holistic knowledge of the business and its goals.

If you are an FD/CFO looking for your next role, register with us. If you are on looking to hire a Finance Director or CFO, get in touch.