The past few years have revolutionized many areas of our lives, including the workplace. We have and are experiencing a period of chaos, of legislative complexity, in which it is hard to keep up with changes. Many companies in recent years have seen their margins reduced and will therefore need to understand even more where to find the resources to reduce costs and find money.
In this scenario, no one more than the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) will have a key role in companies to support and grow the business in an intelligent way. But let’s see how the role has evolved over the last decade. The “traditional” role of the CFO was that of administrative and financial manager. He/she was an accountant and team leader, primarily acting as a financial and management controller. His/her responsibility was to supervise the economic and financial management of the company, ensuring the stability and optimizing the performance. He/she had to communicate exclusively in Italian and with numbers.
The role of the CFO, on the other hand, today has changed. The CFO goes beyond pure management control to become a “creator of value” and partner of the CEO in the activation of new business models related to digital transformation. With a data-centric approach and a mentality devoted to change, the new CFO brings digital technologies to finance and becomes the protagonist of the strategic choices of the entire organization.
In this new context, the CFO therefore works alongside the CEO and other functions. He/she becomes in effect a business partner. It is therefore important that governance gives him/her the right weight and the right strategic vision to create value for the organization.
Today the CFO must also be able to guide decisions relating to the company’s digitalization process. His/her skills evolve: the “technical” ones of an administrative and financial nature are joined by those relating to the understanding of technologies. The CFO thus becomes today an expert in Digital Finance, recognizes the opportunities that new technologies offer and leads the company to digitization.
The digital CFO works today with a data-centric approach. In particular, the use of Big Data allows us to provide insights into the activities that generate value. He/she must therefore know how to interpret the data to help the Chief Executive Officer to make wise decisions and lead the company to progress.
He/she must also have sustainability at heart, an area on which the financial and capital markets converge, leading to the Transformation of Processes.
Finally, he/she must nuture talents in Human Resources to improve the skills of resource managment, operating upskilling and reskilling of abilities. The CFO is an expert in Subsidized Finance, knowing where all the new sources of financing are to be found.
To conclude, today the CFO requires all-round skills ranging from business strategy, the global economy, the stock market to big data, digital technologies and attraction and motivation of talents. The CFO must also know English well as he will have to deal with foreign funds or with foreign public bodies. In addition to excellent IT skills, a open mentality to innovation and vision on all company activities will be needed.
We think it is right to raise awareness of this modern CFO role, therefore, for those of you who cover this role today or aspire to have these new skills, we welcome you to contact us to learn about our training course and expertise.