Economic volatility, technology, and competition for the smartest staff will have a big effect on finance departments and CFOs’ careers, according to new research from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
The research, which questioned 1,631 IMA and ACCA members worldwide, said technology is and will be a “core asset” for finance leaders.
“Digital technologies will become a core finance leadership enabler in businesses,” said Raef Lawson, PhD, IMA’s vice president of research and policy. “CFOs have a responsibility to ensure social, mobile, cloud, and analytics become a strategic tool in driving change.”
Holger Lindner, CFO of the product service division of TÃV SÃD, a company that provides certification for industrial plants and buildings, said: “You need to develop tools to make meaning out of a heap of information and uncertainty and simulations. These tools can help, for example, to improve decision-making about customer segmentation, pricing, production costs, investments, and resource allocation.”
Technology can also help CFOs value intangible assets, such as data, brand, and staff.
“The market value of a business is increasingly reflected by the intangible assets that it holds, such as data, brand, talent, and its capacity to innovate,” the research said. “Balance sheets are a poor reflection of the capacity of enterprises to create wealth. The CFO function is responsible for achieving maximum return on enterprise assets, so CFOs must understand how the company invests in and leverages the assets that will drive most future growth and value and in doing so allocate enterprise capital efficiently and report on this effectively through integrated reporting practices.”