The Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants are commemorating the second annual CFO Month, with a technology-focused theme to mark the rise of the “techno-finance chief.
CFO Month recognizes the central role finance chiefs play in business strategy and also raises awareness around the challenges and opportunities these leaders face now and in the future.
[IMGCAP(1)]“ACCA’s and IMA’s futures research in 2013 has pointed to greater technological involvement for CFOs around the world,” said ACCA chief executive Helen Brand in a statement. “Their involvement in big data and technology trends is critical to business growth and profit. As CFOs take on a more strategic and globally focused outlook within business, technology will loom larger in their remit.”
Last year, a pair of reports from ACCA and IMA examined how technology affects the CFO’s role. “Digital Darwinism: thriving in the face of technology change” pointed to the 10 technologies finance professionals identified as having an impact on their roles and the businesses where they worked. Mobile technology and cybercrime are two such technological trends.
A second report from the two groups, “Big data: its power and perils,” highlighted the potential for business of all sizes, governments and regulators in harnessing this wealth of unstructured information.
The report found that 62 percent of CFOs around the world cited big data as hugely important to the future of business, potentially giving savvy businesses an edge on their competitors. The volume and variety of data that businesses and governments are able to collect is increasing at an intense rate, providing a potential treasure trove of information. The ability to organize, make sense and analyze it is at the core of the substantial investments that corporations are making.
[IMGCAP(2)]“Big data provides an opportunity for organizations, big and small, to create a competitive advantage and market differentiation,” said IMA president and CEO Jeff Thomson. “CFOs are at the forefront of this business transformation. But like any business transformation, CFOs need to take a balanced approach that includes technology enablement for information delivery, risk management, internal controls, fraud/cyber-security and ethical concerns.”