Skip to content

Evolution of the CFO

  • 3 min read

The digitalization of the finance industry is fundamentally changing how the accountancy profession is conducted in its entirety. But rather than replacing traditional systems, we are adapting business models to utilize technology and provide better systems and services for our customers.

The way work happens has evolved – we are mobile, social, flexible and adept at change. We trust data and expect technology to provide the solution to make us more efficient, productive and enable us to remain ahead of the curve. This new dynamic has made its way to the role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

The role has undergone more changes in the past 5 years than the previous 50.

The Historian

In the beginning, we had CFO 1.0, the first edition of the chief financial officer who would keep the company books up to date and reconcile profit and loss. A historian, they were forever looking in their rear-view mirror—as financial reporting was about showing what happened yesterday (or last week, or the previous month).

The Analyst

Today, most companies exist in a state of CFO 2.0, a situation where we analyze data in the present. We have some great tools to help us, such as automated finance processes, financial management technology and sophisticated data sets. Living in the present, we are staring helplessly at the road ahead of us.

The Visionary

Enter CFO 3.0. A new era where the amalgamation of Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) delivers us to a new nirvana. CFO 3.0 is a new breed of trailblazing finance leaders who use data and emerging technology to create a vision for the future. They embrace new techniques, such as predictive analytics, to drive digital transformation to new frontiers of its capabilities.

As the CFO, you are in a unique position to see across the business in real-time. You now have the freedom to become visionary business leaders, strategists and the essential confidant to the CEO. And for those of you looking for a new challenge, the door is open to taking a larger leadership role within your company.