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Know Your CFO

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The role of the CFO has changed over the years.  The CFO is no longer only the company’s accountant and business manager.  We’ve written about this change here.  The role is evolving to include making more strategic operations decisions — acting as the co-COO with financial understanding.  The CFO is involved in more than budgeting, but evaluating how to create efficiencies within an organization.  In a recent survey, conducted by Robert Half, the financial staffing firm, they reported CFOs are increasingly becoming involved in technology decision-making.

Makes sense, right?  Advances in technology make processes more efficient.  That efficiency helps the bottom line so CFOs are taking a more hands-on approach to evaluating and becoming technology purchasing decision-makers.

According to the survey, which department yields greater influence over strategy and business operations?

Of those finance directors surveyed, 53% said they are working more effectively alongside their IT counterparts than three years ago. The vast majority (97%) claimed to be taking ‘a substantial
role’ in influencing decisions about technology investments and initiatives, leaving only 4% who have limited or no involvement.

Is this collaboration between IT and finance a good thing?  The survey says, “yes”.  Some 54% of survey respondents said more effective co-working has had a positive effect on profitability, while 48% pointed to increased efficiencies. In 41% of cases, closer collaboration has helped cut business costs.

We’d have to agree, collaboration and decision-making that crosses departments is always a good way to implement a check & balance system — to result in a decision that’s best for the company’s continued growth and success.