The role of CFO has changed significantly in recent years. A more competitive market landscape, a keener focus on corporate governance, and issues such as risk management all play a part in the evolving role of the CFO. This executive guide identifies the key challenges today’s CFOs face, and outlines a proactive approach to financial operations starting with the organization’s managed IT services.
Challenge # 1: Compliance Issues
A series of corporate scandals in recent years has put
pressure on the CFO to report accurate and reliable corporate
disclosures. J.D. Power & Associates confirms that those
“involved in the auditing process are feeling the pressure
of increased requirements.”
How IT Compounds Compliancy:
Changes to federal statutes, like Sarbanes-Oxley, make a CFO
accountable for improving and extending not only the corporate
financial infrastructure, but also the IT infrastructure on which
the corporate data is stored and processed.
Challenge # 2: Economic Forecasting
There is increasing pressure for CFOs to provide more accurate forecasts,
not just of financial performance but also of the fundamental business
drivers to reduce costs while increasing productivity. According to the
publishers of CFO Magazine, more than 40 percent of CFOs said one of their
top priorities is to improve planning processes and provide better forecasts.
Houston Managed IT Services:
Around the contry and in
Houston, information technology
has quietly assumed a larger portion of the corporate budget and has consequently
become more integrated with the overall financial plan. Most pundits agree that
the purchase cost of equipment represents only a fraction of the total IT budget.
The volatile nature of IT, such as unexpected crashes, security threats and
upgrades only increases budget uncertainty.
Challenge # 3: Managing Risks and Liabilities
CFOs are under constant pressure to evaluate the level of risk
and return on any investment. During times of recession, declining
sales compel CFOs to reduce costs to protect the bottom line.
However, in today’s competitive market, CFOs must do so without
harming growth potential, or putting the organization at risk.
How IT Compounds Risks and Liabilities:
The more IT equipment, the greater the risk. However, most organizations
must over-invest in IT to meet growing demand, thus increasing expenditures
and the involved risk of IT maintenance and management.
Challenge # 4: Challenge the Status Quo
The CFO must be an agent of change – to help understand evolving
market trends, to question the current business model and help
move the organization forward. CFOs must provide insight and knowledge
of the competitive landscape and evaluate the resources
to execute a company’s mission.
How IT Compounds the Status Quo:
The conventional process of purchasing, installing, managing,
protecting and supporting an onsite IT system has become a vicious
cycle and runs contrary to the CFOs role to reduce recurrent expenditures.
Challenge # 5: Communication
CFOs today must look beyond the balance sheet to truly understand
a company’s risks and opportunities. He or she must ensure that the
created value is properly communicated to the management team as well
as the financial community.
How IT Compounds the Communication:
IT has become the one department within the corporation that
most don’t fully understand. Perplexing technical jargon and
uncovering the productivity effects of downtime makes it difficult
to accurately relay the benefits to other members of the organization.
Click here to view Five Ways to Simplify the Role of CFO