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The CFO's new gig

The CFO's new gig

With what seems like a steady surge of disruptive technology, it is only logical that everything else will have to shift along the way. That is true of the chief financial officer’s (CFO) role within today’s enterprises.

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Amid the changes that are being driven by new technologies, the CFO’s new role is a hybrid function encompassing strategy, finance, and analytics—three things that must come together for a CFO to be successful.

What is driving this?

Here are some “knowns”: Robotic process automation is going to replace human beings to perform certain financial functions, such as manual entry for ledger and system reconciliation. As a result, one big issue CFOs will need to tackle is a potentially sizable labor reduction—which comes with the additional tasks of
reorganizing their department, reallocating resources to new tasks and relocating some, recruiting new talent, and basically maximizing the company’s investment in people.

There are a number of abilities that are going to be especially critical to this new CFO role as we add artificial intelligence (AI) and automation to the team:

  • Qualities that machines do not have—such as creativity, emotional intelligence, and more intuitive, freestyle right-brain thinking
  • The ability to lead a change in organizational structure that will evolve from the traditional pyramid structure into a more agile team aligned to their updated functions
  • An understanding of new levels of collaboration within the CXO suite to include the CSO, COO, and CTO—playing a bigger role in business planning and strategic capital investments.

It is a powerful combination of traditional financial skills sets, new techniques, and “change agent” qualities that will further solidify and enhance the CFO’s value to the organization.

The weight of this inevitable change may feel a bit overwhelming at first. Complex challenges call for sophisticated solutions. Today, a seemingly unlimited access to data is changing the game. This is where AI, big data, and machine learning will come to the rescue.

For example, KPMG and alliance partner Microsoft have developed numerous acclaimed business innovations through our joint Global Digital Solution Hub, which is highly focused on moving financial operations to the next level of digital transformation using cloud technology.

Together we are helping our clients grow revenue; optimize resource allocation and use; and align the back office to strengthen business engagement, interaction, and operational velocity.

Solutions like these are moving our clients forward in this digital world and enabling them to achieve better business outcomes: They are gaining new insights; making smarter decisions faster; adapting more rapidly to change; and managing risk, compliance, and security.

 

To learn more, download the .pdf or visit the Reality Check Blog

Auditor independence KPMG complies with the auditor independence rules of the AICPA, SEC, PCAOB and DOL. As a result, certain alliance-based solutions cannot be offered by KPMG to our audit clients. KPMG audit clients should check with their respective lead audit partner for more information.

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