Among its numerous other game-changing consequences, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed some serious challenges for enterprise CFOs and their finance teams. Namely, an important corporate finance insight that emerged from the rapid changes of the pandemic is the importance of optimizing finance teams and processes; finance team optimization can make or break success, as well as the future survival of organizations.
The Modern Role of the CFO
A major challenge lies in developing the ability and willingness to move beyond the traditional CFO team role of primarily ensuring compliance with various statutory regulations. Today, and in the future, it’s vital for the Office of the CFO to make meaningful contributions to the formulation and execution of strategic, real-time, business-critical corporate decisions. Key activities such as proactively planning for various scenarios, accessing cash liquidity and fluid financial strategy planning are required to drive the organization forward.
Why the CFO Needs to Focus on People
It’s evident that a large part of successfully meeting the demands of a new, constantly changing business environment will revolve around the capabilities, experience and attitudes of the people who make up the CFO department.
Driving the future success of the Office of the CFO and the organization as a whole will rely on the CFO’s effective management and optimization of the finance team. This may take the form of:
- Providing accurate and timely notification of any shifts in corporate direction
- Keeping colleagues continuously up-to-date with the business rationale and objectives behind any task changes
- Motivating teams to embrace new ways of working (i.e.: working remotely or with new technologies)
- Nurturing the acquisition of new skills and talents
- Attracting and retaining top talent
Meeting these requirements has not been made easy mainly due to the sheer volume of work that is now demanded from the Office of Finance because of the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic. Another post-COVID-19 corporate finance insight is the CFO’s challenge to accommodate the higher demand from employees to accommodate more remote operations.
At the same time, the CFO is challenged to meet deadlines, maintain open lines of communication, and deliver accurate financial reporting, all with dispersed staff.
Enabling Finance Team Optimization With Record to Report Technology
Recently, Trintech, a leading provider of Record to Report solutions, conducted a study that indicates that 33% of CFO-related challenges expected in the next 5 years are people-centric and encompass such things as attracting talent and dealing with overtime and employee burnout.
While standardizing accounting processes and adopting technology to automate those processes are extremely important, a huge component of financial transformation comes down to a company’s most valuable assets: its people.
It is critical to think about people, processes, and technology in parallel because those are the key components for a successful financial transformation. Standardizing accounting processes within the right Record to Report technology will help people do their jobs more efficiently and effectively (which helps solve the challenges of completing quality work in a timely manner) and ultimately leads to less overtime and reduced employee burnout.
Trintech’s research also indicates that organizations that previously relied heavily on manual processes and spreadsheets found it difficult to continue to do their jobs at the same level — let alone deliver on the new expectations required of them to provide critical business insights.
These expectations put an extreme level of strain on finance and accounting teams that leads to more hours worked and higher burnout rates— altogether unsustainable practices that will harm an organization’s people and agenda for the future. Finance team optimization is needed to enable finance personnel to complete Record to Report processes, as well as develop the financial strategy and insights the organization requires.
Explore more major corporate finance insights from 486 financial professionals across 430 organizations in Trintech’s latest market research.