The Finance Function of the Future
What does the finance function look like in the future? In his keynote lecture, the Rochester-Bern professor Filip Roodhooft gave some interesting inputs, which can also apply to other functions of a company.
Companies nowadays focus especially on improving their transactional activities of the “finance factory”. However, new trends make it mandatory also to invest in value creation and valuta protection in order to survive as a business in the future. Roodhooft considers globalization, digitalization, governance and regulations as factors which have the biggest effect on the CFO function in the future: How can we manage the finance environment in a global world? What happens next in the world of technology? What will the reporting look like in 10 years if the market asks for more and more information? How will the finance function deal with corporate social responsibility and requirements of regulators?
These are just some of the questions a CFO has to deal with in the near future – and already today. It makes it clear that the evolved CFO role has to be tightly integrated to the other functions of a company.
Advantage through people
Competences of people working in the finance function will be a key factor in this transformation. Proactivity and business knowledge will complement the traditional reactive roles of the finance department. This will also mean that new skills like communication, teamwork and influencing will play a key role in the future.
Impact of digitalization and automation
IT and digitalization offer new possibilities but at the same time also create new demands and ways of working. Companies need to be future-oriented and out-of-the-box thinking is required in order to survive. Therefore, routine jobs in the finance function will probably almost disappear and new profiles and training will be needed.