Certain CFO responsibilities will remain the same for years to come, but others may change rapidly for this increasingly important member of the C-suite.
The chief financial officer position is a critical one for all types of businesses. Putting an experienced, knowledgeable specialist in this key leadership position allows companies to maintain better oversight of their many financial needs and opportunities. Although it may seem that CFOs have a fixed set of responsibilities, the role has evolved significantly since it was first developed.
What is a CFO?
The CFO is the ultimate overseer of financial responsibilities within a business. Tasks range from reviewing spending and developing budgets - or, more likely for larger organizations, approving reviews and budgets prepared by subordinates - to presenting financial information to the board of directors. Despite all of the changes businesses have gone through, thanks to transformative developments like the widespread use of the internet and digital tools and platforms, these responsibilities are stable and will continue to be for some time to come.
The evolution of the CFO role, then, can be seen in how these financial leaders interact with fellow executives, their staff and new technology.
How the CFO role has evolved
Many modern CFOs take on more substantial roles in terms of evaluating strategic opportunities and providing a financial perspective on company decisions, TechCrunch said. Strategic analysis that takes a finance-first focus but informs the entire organization is a valuable resource for top decision-makers. It also brings the CFO to the table as someone who provides more than only financial reporting. Instead of being siloed in the world of finance, the CFO now supports the overall foundation and development of the business.
CFOs also handle many responsibilities related to data. Although the chief data officer is a growing concept, it's still in its early stages. In the place of that dedicated role, it's common to see CFOs take on a variety of data-related processes and workflows. Considering the modern CFO needs to use analysis and real-time data to guide financial decisions, it's not a surprising form of growth for the role.
Forbes said the ability of CFOs to look into the future is increasingly important. That's true of the data they choose to aggregate and the forms of analysis they decide to conduct as well as the tools and platforms they utilize to handle standard financial responsibilities. While financial oversight and reporting needs won't change much, if at all, in the near future, the way CFOs choose to manage and complete them will.
Tools that automate various reporting and review processes that once took significant amounts of time to complete are one especially powerful aspect of the evolving CFO role. In a similar vein, the use of finance as a service and outsourced accounting solutions can provide major advantages to businesses that would benefit from having a staff of experienced and skilled accountants but is not in a position to recruit or maintain several full-time employees. Consero offers modern CFOs at growing businesses a vital platform for streamlining workflows while gaining more insight into their day-to-day and long-term accounting functions.