Dear CFO, Your Job is Disrupted Too
By Dian Noeh Abubakar
Founder, CEO & Inclusion Driver at KVB
“Have they done that?” I wondered after I listened to Ms Karina Saridewi of Robert Walters Indonesia, who shared about VUCA and CFO in a meeting on 30 April 2019. I also quickly learned about three non-traditional CFO tasks.
VUCA is a situation in business world now that volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity take place. CFO is the term that we know, one of the very strategic post at any enterprises: Chief Financial Officer.
Why is this CFO and VUCA relevant? Along with disruptions across industries and business sectors, CFOs now have one more task. CFOs today, on top of being the strategic partner and having minimum roles in managing operations and system, are expected to perform maximum roles in non-traditional tasks.
And, what are the three non-traditional tasks?
The CFO role is being reshaped by four disruptive forces: digital, data, volatile risk and uncertainty, and intense stakeholder scrutiny and regulation. The profiles, backgrounds and priorities of CFOs are becoming increasingly diverse as organizations look for non-traditional skills and outlooks to help them face up to their major challenges.
- Talent strategy and capability building.
CFO should work closely with their HR team to identify professionals with potential to be groomed. Soft skills, communications and career path remain the keys in talent strategy.
But, it is not business if there is no challenge.
On digitalization, there are considerable challenges in implementing new technologies including lack of understanding of where the opportunities are and there is a need of clear vision of using tech. In the meantime on talent strategy and capability building, 31 per cent of CFO find it difficult to recruit capable and effective millennials in finance professionals.
Having two points as the tasks and challenges too, what is the last part of CFOs job in as businesses are disrupted?
Seventy  per cent of companies who conducted digital transformation have experienced substantial ROI in the past twelve months despite the challenges mentioned above, according to Robert Walters.
With this kind of number, eyes are on CFOs who in their files, mind, palm or mobile phone as one more point in non-traditional tasks: championing transformation.
The eyes of board see CFOs to initiate, lead and sustain the transformation by:
– Measuring the performance of change initiatives
– Overseeing margin and cash flow improvement during the transformation
– Establishing KPI and a performance baseline before transformation
Ending this note by understanding the role of CFOs in digitalization, talent strategy and championing transformation, I wonder if most CFOs, whose jobs have been disrupted too, have done the above.
Dear CFOs, have you?