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CXO Insights: CFO’s Influence on Executive Leadership

The financial crisis and the challenges that followed have spurred change in enterprises across the world. The roles of C-suite executives have also changed to ensure enterprises’ success during these turbulent times. The role of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) has especially evolved and expanded due to their contribution to enterprises’ finance function.

Errol Keyt, the Founder and CEO at TransformTek, taps into his 15+ years’ experience as a CFO to go in detail on CFOs’ role in today’s executive leadership. This post was originally published on LinkedIn. You can read the original post here.

For decades, Chief Financial Officers have been entrusted with monitoring the financial health of their enterprises and ensuring they meet their compliance and risk management obligations. Until recently, CFOs have played a narrow role in strategic decision making and almost never partook in business transformation. The recent digital disruption, however, has changed that. According to polls by Oracle and Accenture, 71% of 900 finance chiefs enjoy a significantly higher level of strategic influence now than they did three years ago.

One aspect CFOs have become more involved in is Change Management. Change is vital to take enterprises to the next level of operational efficiency, boost productivity, and ensure greater revenue growth. However, it is easy to get lost in the large number of ideas CFOs are constantly bombarded with. If that is the case with you, my best advice is, ‘Get Back to the Basics’.

Today’s CFO needs to continue managing the information workflow effectively. This is important for carrying out their duty to present and report historical financial information as well as the new duties entrusted to them in the digital disruption era, including:

  • Contributing to decision making
  • Strategizing to boost productivity
  • Controlling and reducing transaction costs
  • Managing the environment to ensure full transparency
  • Reporting exceptions in real time

To carry these duties out and achieve their goals, CFOs should consider committing to a mobile data strategy. In addition to reaping the benefit mobility brings, a strategy has the power to reduce the risks associated with enterprise mobility and ease the concerns about data security.

However, one important aspect many professionals forget to add is mobile data capture. Using mobile forms and apps instead of traditional paper documents, eliminates the high cost of paper transactions and reduces duplication and waste across the enterprise.

Research shows every paper form costs approximately $20, from its original purchase, to storing, distributing, processing, and finally filing the form to archives. In the event of a lost form, the cost escalates to over $100, depending on the amount of rework involved.

Other benefits your enterprise can achieve with mobile data capture include:

  • Real Time Data Collection – Enterprises benefit from real-time data usage. It contributes to business agility by eliminating lag time. Instant information also allows CFOs to take advantage of the opportunities offered by changing trends.
  • Real Time Data Analysis – Traditionally, CFOs and their teams have used data-driven analytics to formulate plans and strategies that benefit the enterprise. Real time analysis allows them to transform enterprises from reactive environments to automated continuous learning environments.
  • Prompt Decision Making – With real time data analysis, CFOs will be able to respond dynamically to changing business conditions. They can then steer the enterprise towards more profitable ventures.
  • Easier Deployment and Quicker Modification – Mobile forms, for instance, can be designed easily using zero code enterprise mobile app development platforms. Business users with limited IT knowledge can drag and drop controls to create a sophisticated, fully functional form. They can also make changes to forms quicker and very cost effective as there’s no need to reprint paper-based documents and forms.
  • Environmentally Friendly Business – With less paper, enterprises can become sustainable businesses. In turn, it will have a greater chance of long-term success. Environmentally friendly enterprises also draw new customers as well as attract and retain staff. However, the biggest advantage is reducing the costs of running your enterprise.

With each person owning up to three devices, enterprises no longer have an excuse to remain shrouded in paper any longer. CFOs and their executives need to wake up to the new world of mobile solutions if they are to be both competitive and successful.

As the ‘modernization’ journey begins with the CFO and the IT team, you need to begin your research to understand which mobile solutions are available and how they can replace your enterprises’ current paper forms. Ideally, the solution should allow you to create an app that acts as a “one-stop shop” for all the forms used across your organization, divided by department. That way, you will have a cost-efficient way of collecting data and filing documents.

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