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The CFO as an architect of business value

Powerful external forces are having a profound impact on the finance function, and on the role of the CFO.

Overview

The chief financial officer’s (CFO’s) role continues to evolve to that of an architect of business value. It is moving toward driving business growth and managing complexity while controlling costs.

Our 2014 High Performance Finance Study delves deep into the changing role of the CFO—one that has more strategic influence and drives business value by supporting growth and managing complexities while keeping costs in check.

High Performance

High Performance Finance functions are taming some of the most powerful forces that affect performance.

Since Accenture last conducted its High Performance Finance Study in 2011, most organizations have made significant progress in taming the powerful external forces that have buffeted them since the financial crisis first emerged. Finance has played a vital role in helping companies overcome the challenges of the last few years. CFOs have empowered companies to adopt the cost discipline necessary for survival, and advised business leaders on how to allocate scarce resources. In the coming years, CFOs should consider five key imperatives to architect business value: aligning strategy across the enterprise; transforming their operating models; managing business performance; digitizing the finance function; and developing advanced finance capabilities.

 

Click here to download the full Infographic. The role of the CFO
continues to evolve. This opens a new window.View the Infographic to see how the role of the CFO continues to evolve. [PDF 2.03 MB]

Scott Brennan discusses how some CFOs have gotten ahead of the game

Complexity

Christian Campagna discusses simplifying complex business structures

CFOs are challenged by complex legacy systems, a complex stakeholder universe and a complex risk environment.

According to the respondents of the 2014 Accenture Strategy High Performance Finance Research, complexity in its various guises is the biggest challenge finance organizations face. For finance functions, these challenges are all greater than they were during our last study of 2011. Among the key complexity challenges faced by senior financial professionals are complex legacy systems and environment, managing the complex needs of a growing number of stakeholders, and managing new and complex risks. Successful businesses must find ways of embracing and navigating complexity – by optimizing processes and operating models to streamline and simplify the organization.

Click here to download the full inforgraphic. Accenture embracing complexity infographic. This opens a new window.Download Full Infographic [PDF, 165 KB]

The Digital Agenda

CFOs are reporting increased investment in digital technologies. Digital is helping CFOs forecast effectively, identify trends and dismantle silos.

As more and more companies turn to mobile, big data, analytics, cloud computing, and social media, finance leaders report strong increases in the level of investment across digital technologies. Given the potential disruptive nature of digital technologies, CFOs are involved in redefining the cost model of the business as these new technologies are implemented. Taking into perspective the CFO’s growing role, we should expect their involvement in decisions touching digital to also increase. Similar to other major decisions, companies turn to the CFO for guidance. Digital, like all technology issues, is of importance to the CFO and they are mobilizing.

Cara Morton discusses her thoughts about investment in big data, cloud and mobility

Architecting Business Value

David Davidson discusses the application of the latest research and the effect it has had

CFOs are challenged by complex legacy systems, a complex stakeholder universe and a complex risk environment.

According to Accenture 2014 High Performance Finance Research respondents, complexity in its various guises is the biggest challenge finance organizations face. For finance functions, these challenges are all greater than they were during our last study of 2011. Among the key complexity challenges faced by senior financial professionals are complex legacy systems and environment, managing the complex needs of a growing number of stakeholders, and managing new and complex risks. Successful businesses must find ways of embracing and navigating complexity – by optimizing processes and operating models to streamline and simplify the organization.

Click here to download the full inforgraphic. Accenture the CFO as an architect of business value infographic. This opens a new window.Download Full Infographic [PDF, 160 KB]