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We have moved into a "new normal" in a pandemic world, and I have spent some time thinking about what this means to our clients. Every business including Alteryx are having to prepare for a different way of working.


I’ve thought about the role of the CFO even before the pandemic hit us, when we talk about Digital Transformation in the Office of Finance. CFOs traditionally made sure that the books/records were kept in line and reconcile, focusing on the financial reports and ensuring compliance.


Image Source: ToptalImage Source: Toptal


As you can see from the Pillars above, CFOs are introducing ‘non-traditional’ and strategic skills in the Office of Finance not limited to, but including business agility, analysis, value architecture and storytelling.


Finance leaders must be more strategic, and this way of working has to be reimagined to resolve their ongoing complex business challenges and to plan for long term success. CFOs will need to expand their skill sets and have an appreciation and confidence with technology.


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Technology has become directly related to top line business strategies and it’s crucial that the Office of Finance have the resources and the executive support to onboard new products and services that will help achieve ROI and related revenue goals.


According to Adaptive Insights, adaptability and flexibility to new technologies is the most important skill set compared to the presence of Excel skills:


Image Source: Adaptive InsightsImage Source: Adaptive Insights


Over 65% of finance professionals say meeting deadlines/time-pressures are their biggest challenge and the added workloads due to the last 18 months reinforces this. There is still an expectation of quick delivery of those critical business processes and meeting reporting deadlines. 


Here are a few ways we can work to enable the Office of Finance to introduce more efficiencies, become more agile, retain talent and maintain morale.


Collaborate in strategic ways




One of the challenges presented to the Office of Finance is to break down barriers to digital success and the organisational silos that create the barriers. The Modern CFO has to act as cultural change agent in every organisation to identify dependencies, create successful change alternatives, foster greater understanding, secure executive buy-in and ultimately create a more unified organization.


Work iteratively with feedback




It is the CFO’s responsibility to read in raw financial information and data and prepare this into meaningful commentary and actions. As a part of that process, it is imperative that the CFO and the Office of Finance take on feedback from key stakeholders—from the C-suite down to junior team members—and work iteratively in an effective way.


Pursue talent and new technology




A CFO is now a major part of driving business strategy and supporting cross-functional conversations. As a result of this, retaining and empowering the right talent is a critical function of this role.


This great need for talent is accelerating. The entire Office of Finance needs to be well-versed in technology, and this approach should be integrated into recruitment, training and enablement. The CFO and Office of Finance need to establish a digital transformation road map, execute on this financial transformation road map, and leverage tech to streamline routine redundant tasks, which will help achieve related efficiencies resulting in more freed up time to invest in value-additive, strategic thinking.


Successful CFOs will be those who prioritize workforce optimization, quickly implement efficiency-boosting technology, and attract and retain talented people.


By embracing technology that leverages automation for manual repetitive processes and enabling employees to focus on more productive work, CFOs can build or enhance their workplace culture into one that is more likely to attract talent and boost employee morale, which leads to happier customers overall.

Come join me on a three part webinar series (22 September – 6 October 2021) where I will show you how the Alteryx Analytic Process Automation Platform can help you achieve the above, on your digital and finance transformation journey within the Office of Finance.