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Don’t lose your relevance

18 December 2017

CFOs have an unprecedented opportunity as core contributors to adoption of new technologies to drive business growth. However, if they don’t embrace this opportunity they risk losing competitiveness and remaining relevant amid a fast-moving digital landscape, says the ACCA in its report Race for Relevance: Technology opportunities for the finance function.

The worry is that CFOs who fail to take advantage of the opportunities could be removed from the strategic decision-making process and marginalised at the leadership table.
The report says CFOs need to consider the impact of key technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), cloud, analytics, social media, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence on finance.

Accountants are told they need to develop a roadmap that enables them to recognise the short-term benefits and the longer-term gains.

The ACCA has even highlighted six imperatives for success:
- Align the strategy – understand the organisation’s wider goals and how finance, using technology can best support these ambitions.
- Build the business case – identify the business case for using specific tools and solutions.
- Appreciate the value of data – explore how CFOs can make better use of data analytics throughout finance and beyond.
- Managing the organisational impact of technological change – identify the organisational change required to embed new technologies successful.
- Focus on talent and skills – equip the organisation with the people and skills base needed to exploit the technology.
- Assess the impact of technology on governance and risk management – ensure investments are made with rigor and that the risks created by new technologies are properly monitored and controlled.

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