The landscape of modern finance is a completely different arena to operate in than it was in years past. In fact, the roles and responsibilities have evolved so much that financial leaders that cling to the ways of old are doing their organization a disservice by not employing a forward-thinking mindset and identifying any new opportunities of growth.
Consider this the 10 commandments of modern finance that all CFOs must abide by.
1) Leverage Data to Fuel Decision-Making
Data is a new form of currency – the only twist is that it comes in waves and you have to be able to flip these data points into insights to help fuel areas of growth. Advanced analytics enhance organizations from insurance companies to vet potentially dangerous drivers to professional sports teams when scoping out opposing teams. The answers lie in the numbers, which is why companies are investing so heavily in tools and technology that can bring forth value.
2) Strategic Visionaries
According to the Longitude Research study, created in part by Accenture and Oracle, 80% of CFOs worldwide desire more involvement in setting strategy and the growth agenda. The finance department is expected to provide strategic guidance instead of simply keeping all the ducks in a row. Modern finance leaders have expanded their roles to become active and strategic business partners.
3) Managing Bottom Lines to Enhancing Top Ones
The following point provides a perfect segue into why managing bottom lines help shatter the limits of your top lines of revenue. The ways of old were to protect the balance sheet at all costs. Now we’ve seen a pendulum shift to an innovative mentality on how to leverage their birds eye view of the organization to strategically plan for the future.
4) Maximize Operational Efficiency
Often times many organizations have an overlap with their business functions causing unnecessary expenditures. Modern finance means looking internally to ensure there aren’t any unnecessary overlaps and how to operate at maximum efficiency and productivity. Web-based technology platforms can help speed up any internal finance processes and mitigate any financial discrepancies.
5) Digital Dominance
Digital technologies are increasingly disrupting age-old sources of value, ie, Internet of things, mobile, etc. “Virtually every CFO has the potential to improve their company’s shareholder value and current performance by allocating capital to digital technologies and the new types of assets that are creating value.” - WSJ
Short version: embrace digital or you put your company’s future at risk.
6) Modern CFOs Are Tech Titans
The ability to make internal processes more efficient and create more value is the name of the game. This also means that the CIO and CFO need to combine forces to collaborative and innovate together, instead of staying in their respective siloes. The increasingly important role technology plays, social media and cyber threats. Meaning that formal leadership dialogue about what technology is needed to support the business strategy are ongoing discussions that need to be had between CIO’s and CFOs.
7) Fueling the Entire Business
Forward-looking CFOs are taking advantage of new data and analytics tools and techniques to deliver more value - even developing entirely new revenue streams. The finance team is able to tap in and directly shape new products and push the evolution of the industry's core business model forward by converting data into actionable insights.
8) Insight As a Value Add
Picking off right where we left off with the earlier point, flipping advanced analytics into actionable insights is a powerful value in and of itself. Strategic CFOs are constantly looking through the lens of being a business partner and how they can bring forth new value to their organization. Next to the CEO, CFOs have their hand in all horizontal operations and are able to provide insight as a value add to various departments.<strong> </strong>
9) Measuring What KPI’s Mean for the Company
"No matter how old a company is or how it makes money, its future depends on how leaders respond to the new definitions of value. The big challenge for CFOs is identifying new metrics that describe the impact of intangible value drivers on the business, so that leaders can make well-informed decisions." – Oracle
10) Maximize Technical Platforms
Finance teams are firing on all cylinders, so the ability to quickly uncover deeper insights that drive smarter, data-driven decisions are an absolute game-changer.
This is the dawn of intuitive financial planning platforms taking over with reporting functionality helping companies see their corporate performance data in a whole new light - while saving time and money.
Limelight, a modern web-based financial platform is transforming corporate finance to help you protect your bottom line – while increasing your top one. Limelight provides a smart and fresh take on excel with a single, complete solution to financial management.