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Will the role of the CFO survive or will they deliver and innovate through use of modern technology..?

CFOs and corporate innovationTraditionally, the role of the CFO has been to oversee governance and compliance at the same time as preparation of management information.

What is clear is that the landscape is rapidly changing, and with it the need to leverage the benefits of technology and the availability of analytical information. There has never been a greater demand for information.

Today’s CFO is required to deliver a detailed understanding of operational data in order to participate and contribute constructively to any discussion. Such demand has prompted a shift from financial statements, compliance and score keeping to problem solving and business analytics.

Do the COO and CFO perform similar roles?  Well both typically analyse the same information, but view it from different angles. It is commonly known that it is never a good idea to validate your own work. The purpose of analysis is to determine whether the plan for success is still on track. In almost every publicly listed company, trouble can start when the balance of information is compromised or ignored. Bad information leads to making decisions based on what you want the results to be rather than what good information is telling you. Whilst this is true of most organisations; experience tells us that different people interpret and project differently using the same data.

The CFO and COO will both analyse….but which one is right..?

Although the CFO may feel safer maintaining the status quo; continuing to work with an out-of-date business model is riskier than initiating and driving the changes necessary to enable future growth.

What should be the key take-away from these discussions?

Fast and changing times require the CFO to be increasingly nimble, strategic and creative. Essential to this are modern business systems that can support change.

Technology is central to any new strategy and it’s quoted that eighty-six percent of CEO’s tell us technology will transform their businesses during the next five years.

More complex business models, increased customer expectations, different ways of managing costs, more flexible operating models, and new alliances, are all keys to the CFO’s success.

Organisational structure of today requires that ‘numbers’ reside within operations. ‘Numbers’ should assist operations with predicting what the future will look like. Never before has partnership between finance and other business units or departments been more relevant. Finance exists for a reason; this alignment with the business now needs to add more relevance to operations.

With ever increasing uncertainty and data volumes off the scale, today’s CFO needs to be better equipped to analyse numbers in order to predict the future. Key to this will be the ability to leverage technology and give structure to the mountains of data.

Quite possibly the most significant issue stems from the fact that data resides in silos and best of breed systems. Whilst this is not a major problem, the CFO’s challenge will be in unlocking the value of that data.

TouchstoneEnergy is all about making sense of information. We help you to transform data into meaningful information and then surface it using a variety of reporting and visualisation tools.

Our recently released ETL data warehouse platform together with our Business Intelligence suite will ensure the CFO can add greater value. All this with a system that also supports the budgeting & forecasting cycles; providing both actual and assumption based forecasts.

Business wide budgets can be consolidated and compared with actuals to produce real-time, accurate variance reporting. Information can be distributed to department managers in a format they can understand based on their area of responsibility in a way that suits them.

With full analytical and transaction drill down, users can see how the business is performing, but, most importantly, compare this information with forecasts, trends and outlooks.

To learn more about how TouchstoneEnergy is delivering value to our customers, please call and we will arrange a meeting to discuss your specific requirements.

T: +44 (0)207 121 4700

About TouchstoneEnergy

TouchstoneEnergy is a leading business systems and IT consultancy dedicated to the oil and gas, renewable energy, mining and downstream trading industries.


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