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FP&A Innovation, Issue 8

We look at the issues facing leaders in the finance function

24Nov

Welcome to the eighth edition of FP&A Innovation.

We are nearing the end of 2015. Technology has changed the business landscape, and world events have created a geo-political climate that could only be described as unhelpful for supply chains.

The influx of data is proving a particular challenge for CFOs. They hold the key to much of it, and they are heavily increasingly involved with how to deal with it, as Kirsty Donavan discusses later in this issue. Scott Brennan, Global Managing Director of Accenture’s Finance & Enterprise Performance Unit, notes that: ‘About a third of the CFOs we talked to are playing a leading role in building a rationale for business transformation, and almost 60% indicated that investments in things like big data and analytics are going to be a source of competitive advantage.’

However, almost a third of CEOs responding to a 2014 survey by KPMG said that they believe their CFO lacks the knowledge required to deal with their business’s current challenges, and that they are not providing them with enough assistance. This suggests that many CFOs need to gain a better understanding of what is now required of them, and learn the appropriate skills to carry it out.

The CTO is vital to this, and the increasing overlap in their responsibilities offer a number of opportunities to share skills. A Gartner FEI CFO Technology Study found that 39% of IT organizations reported to the CFO, and their influence over the department went up 44% since 2010/2011. Rather than thinking of this as an imposition, both need to look at it as a chance to add value. This, rather than simple bean counting, is an example of where the CFO needs to be focusing their attention. They must work with other C-suite executives across their organization, and they need to make them appreciate that while their jobs now have overlaping skillsets. All involved must simply adjust their skill sets for the betterment of the company.

As always, if you are interested in contributing or have any feedback on the magazine, please contact me at jovenden@theiegroup.com.

James Ovenden

Managing Editor

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