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Modern CFO is a technology evangelist: Study

The modern CFO is a technology evangelist who recognizes the
value of digital and cloud technologies for the finance function and the
business as a whole, but a gap remains between CFO ambitions and reality,
according to the study done by Oracle and Accenture.

The modern CFO is a technology evangelist who recognizes the
value of digital and cloud technologies for the finance function and the
business as a whole, but a gap remains between CFO ambitions and reality,
according to the study done by Oracle and Accenture.

Finance departments recognize that cloud capabilities will
be useful for budgeting, planning and forecasting as they fulfill modern
finance’s mandate to be a strategic partner and help drive business growth. And
to act as a strategic partner to the business, forward-thinking finance teams
are using sophisticated analytical tools, modern applications and the latest
social, mobile, cloud and collaboration tools to stay closely linked to the
vision, strategies and activities of their peers across the enterprise.

While the study found that many CFOs are making major
strides toward creating a more productive and efficient technology-enabled
finance function, it is clear that much work lies ahead. This report
demonstrates that CFOs over the past year have made progress since an earlier
Oracle and Accenture study, The CFO as Catalyst for Change, which found CFOs
across the world wanted more strategic engagement but instead were focused on
battling costs, economic volatility, and organizational complexity.

Over two-thirds of respondents agree the CFO is a strong
evangelist for the transformational potential of technology and nearly
three-quarters of finance executives believe new technologies such as the
cloud, mobile technology and social media will change how finance is structured
and run.

However, only 20 per cent of C-suite executive respondents
believe that their finance organizations have adopted leading-edge
technologies, in contrast to sales organizations, in which 43 percent of
C-suite executives view as already having done so.

Nearly half of respondents saw an increase in the number of
finance analysts hired over the past two years, reflecting the growing need for
finance talent with a deeper and broader range of business and analytical
skills.

Survey respondents clearly see the potential for the cloud
to deliver new insights through advanced analytics and business intelligence.
More than a quarter of respondents (28 per cent) are already using the cloud to
support budgeting, planning and forecasting, and another 34 per cent plan to
move them into the cloud within the next year.

While about 30 per cent of finance and line of business
executives responding agree their processes are still paper-based, there is a
clear trend toward automating and digitizing processes, with nearly 50 per cent
now using mobile apps and 53 percent leveraging web-based systems.

By CIO staff

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