Taking the Lead: Does Your Finance Function Have the Influence It Deserves?
Taking the Lead: Does Your Finance Function Have the Influence It Deserves?
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In my previous posts, I looked at two of the three key pillars of an agile finance operating model: Operational Excellence and Digital Intelligence. These attributes were described in a recent survey of 700+ senior finance executives, Agile Finance Unleashed: The Key Traits of Digital Finance Leaders, conducted by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Now let's take a closer look at the third and final pillar, Business Influence.

In that study, close to half of respondents (48 percent) say that their CFO and finance function play a "significant and influential role" in partnering with managers to help improve decision-making and performance management. Cloud-based ERP and EPM applications are helping to expand that influence, equipping finance teams with the predictive intelligence and market insights needed to mitigate risk and effectively guide the business forward.

Yet when it comes to helping the organization understand digital disruption, progress has been a bit slower. Just 33% of survey respondents said that the finance function plays an influential role in "mapping future scenarios for a more disrupted and volatile future." This can constrain finance's ability to guide and influence business model innovation.

To maintain its influence and provide this important foresight, CFOs will need to focus on two areas: freeing up their teams from time-consuming tasks so they can play a greater role in mapping out the enterprise's response to digital disruption; and shifting the perception of finance's "digital IQ" in the eyes of key stakeholders.