Internationalization, ever-shorter innovation cycles, automation: the world is spinning faster and faster, the corporate environment is becoming more complex. Add to this global challenges – such as new sustainability goals, the financial crisis, or the COVID 19 pandemic – that are testing the resilience and risk management of society and business. Chief financial officers (CFOs) in this situation can make good use of a guide to help them along the path of transformation. That's why we have developed the CFO Black Book.
Why we believe it's a must read for CFOs?
The new role of the CFO: a strategist with a vision for the future
CFOs' roles have evolved in the face of an ever-changing environment. They have long since left behind the role of accountants. CFOs are increasingly becoming strategists – or rather, visionaries who can drive issues through their financial decisions and turn strategies into lived reality. Your day-to-day work is characterized by a wide range of topics and requirements that need to be prioritized.
A recent study by management consultants Horváth shows that green transformation is high on CFOs' agendas, as is digital transformation. In addition, there are skills shortages, procurement difficulties, the introduction of modern working models and data security. These themes have it all. Not only because they are complex. But also because the (supposedly) different requirements of HR, IT and AP, Procurement and Sales want to be reconciled under one hat. This also means that CFOs take on a communicative role to gain supporters for their vision and, as networkers, to establish contact with and between departments.
Digitalization as a core task of the CFO
Digitization and automation are of particular importance in the transformation process. Because data helps to analyze the status quo. They are an important basis for strategic decisions – such as setting up processes more efficiently, increasing compliance or being able to act faster on the market. Digitalization supports risk management and increases the agility and resilience it needs in an ever-changing market environment. It's not all about artificial intelligence and machine learning – the current focus for CFOs is on functional tools that are easy to use. It is up to them to decide which tools to invest in today and tomorrow. The elaborately designed CFO Black Book, for example, provides clear recommendations and hints on what to look out for. Checklists help to evaluate existing tools.
The CFO Black Book: A Guide to the Transformation Process
Strategist, visionary, networker, topic driver, digitalizer: the CFOs of the future have the chance to shape the transformation of the company – if they know how to fill this role. That means: building a vision, setting clear goals, setting up their teams wisely, using tools purposefully. The CFO Black Book offers 63 pages of guidelines, tips, an overview of to-dos and tasks. In short: It is a companion for all CFOs who are embarking on their future role. From sustainability to digitization to compliance and crisis management, the pressing issues are highlighted and clear recommendations are made. In addition, there are tips on how to work together with the departments involved and on ways to bring the entire company along in the change process.
In the Black Book, we focus on travel and expense management. Not only because we know the best about intelligent cost management. But also because many of our customers have been able to generate the first quick wins in the transformation process with the help of our solutions – towards more efficient, digital processes and CO2 savings. But CFOs can apply the guidelines, information and checklists to other topics as well.