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The new CFO: driving business value in the digital age

How finance can power future profitable growth and competitive advantage

 

COMPANIES ARE REFOCUSING
ON PROFITABLE GROWTH

Accenture research showed that 82 percent of executives say their company is funding growth initiative investments from current cost reduction efforts. CFOs are expected to help deliver that growth.

However, many CFOs still have a process orientation which limits their ability to contribute to growth. By changing to a value orientation, CFOs have an unprecedented opportunity to strategically elevate finance in their company and become the chief value architects.

 

ARE YOU READY?

CFOs fall along a spectrum of readiness to drive business value for their companies. At one end, some are still challenged to develop needed foundational capabilities. Others have taken advantage of digital and other new technologies, as well as operating models, to drive process improvements and efficiencies. A small group of CFOs have elevated the role of finance in their organizations by improving finance processes on a global scale, i.e., by leveraging enterprise resource planning (ERP) and shared services. These advances also allowed finance to be fully integrated with other business functions, from procurement and supply chain to HR and operations.

"FINANCE CAN NOW RECONFIGURE THEIR PROCESS-ORIENTED
MODELS INTO THE INSIGHT
ENGINE
FOR THE BUSINESS."

 

Joris van Malderen

Managing director, Accenture Consulting, Finance & Enterprise Performance


Digital and other new technologies help CFOs identify and pursue entirely new ways of working. Three technologies, in particular, facilitate a value orientation:

 

FIVE STEPS HELP CFOS TRANSITION FROM A PROCESS TO VALUE ORIENTATION:
  1. ADOPT A NEW MINDSET
    Value-oriented CFOs view the world through a different lens. They see themselves as value architects. Specifically, they shift their primary focus toward helping the business grow. They identify new opportunities and unleash potential. Importantly, they can handle the discomfort of a less-than perfect, forward-looking view.

  2. EMBRACE NEW TECHNOLOGIES
    Digital and other new technologies can help CFOs create a digital enterprise and focus on value. These free finance professionals for more interesting and impactful work. Days spent collecting data, monitoring spreadsheets and preparing reports are replaced by more analytical, collaborative and strategic activities.

  3. RECONFIGURE THE FINANCE ORGANIZATION TO DRIVE VALUE
    In our experience, up to 80 percent of traditional finance services can be delivered via cross-functional, integrated teams focused on an end-to-end process. Two examples are control centers that streamline and consolidate processes to provide responsive, cost-effective services and value-based service models that can use advanced digital and analytics capabilities to uncover new sources of potential value.

  4. RE-THINK THE TALENT STRATEGY
    CFOs will need to develop in their organizations new behaviors, skills and competencies. The talent profile will need to be expanded to include insightfulness, analytical reasoning, risk awareness, tolerance of ambiguity and decisiveness. Additionally, broader business knowledge will help in understanding the implications of financial analyses.

  5. ADOPT NEW MEASURES OF “SUCCESS”
    Expanded performance measures should incorporate future value. Measures should also encompass the broader business knowledge and insights. With a value orientation, CFOs and their business peers’ metrics would be much more aligned, creating opportunities for CFOs to enhance their role as business collaborator.


Author

Joris van Malderenz

Joris van Malderen
Managing Director, Accenture Consulting,
Finance & Enterprise Performance

Joris van Malderen. This opens a new window.

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