CFO and Technology » Finance 4.0: How technology is changing the role of the CFO

Finance 4.0: How technology is changing the role of the CFO

Technological advancements have paved the way for a new era of finance and reimagining the role of the CFO in the process.

The advent of Industry 4.0 has seen increased globalisation and the rapid development of digital technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and application programming interfaces (API). Businesses have been forced to adopt digital strategies to provide seamless, personalised and elevated client experiences to remain competitive or risk falling by the wayside.

Industry 4.0 has created an opportunity to transform the finance industry too, making way for finance 4.0, a concept defined by automation and technologies traditionally underutilised by finance departments. Those who take advantage of this new era of finance have seen a number of efficiency benefits met with higher-quality data and accurate reporting.

However, most finance teams have been slow to join the digital takeover and it’s only in the last few years we have seen progress in the space accelerate. According to a report from Accenture, 60% of traditional finance tasks are now automated – almost double what was reported in 2018 (34%).

Now at the top of the agenda, digitalisation activities have since become a do-or-die task for most finance teams giving them the much-needed agility to navigate business challenges. It has also freed up the time of finance teams allowing them to become better strategists and advisors capable of providing insight to help shape the company’s future.

In turn, CFOs are now able to take on a more strategic role within the business, influencing company strategy and acting as better business partners to other departments. As a result, the modern CFO has transcended the traditional limits of the role, with the position evolving from bean counter to financial leader in an era of rapid technological innovation.

One technological development which could drastically change the shape of the finance function is the arrival of the metaverse. The convergence of digital and physical environments presents new opportunities for finance teams including enhanced data visualisation which could provide more precise and frictionless ways of working.

In fact, a recent Sage report noted that 30% of UK finance leaders say their business has completely entered the metaverse while 58% have moderately progressed into this new frontier but still have a way to go to fully embrace this new environment.

For CFOs – as one of the main drivers of change within an organisation – a deep knowledge of the new possibilities presented by technology is crucial. It is important to stay updated on the latest developments and changes that are happening within the finance and technology space because the two remain closely intertwined with each other.

Stay up-to-date on the latest technology trends impacting CFOs and finance functions with The CFO by bookmarking our Technology Hub.

To hear more about the evolving role of the CFO, register to the keynote panel discussion featuring finance leaders from Ocado, Volvo, and Pladis Global, here.  

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