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What’s driving the trajectory of the CFO role?

ai cfo epm finance rpa technology Jan 31, 2019

By Andy Burrows

Let’s talk about how and why the role of the CFO has changed over the last 30 years, and why that puts Finance in a critical position within the business.

You know, ever since I qualified as an accountant in 1995, I’ve noticed magazine articles, courses, seminars, books, all talking about the changing role of the CFO (or Finance Director as we used to call it).

And I’ve always been a bit cynical. I didn’t really know what it was all about until I sat and thought about it recently.

You see, I think there’s a misunderstanding in the media, even in the financial press, about what is driving any changes in role, if there are any.

The media portrays the CFO’s role changing because of Finance technology. In the past it was all about EPM (Enterprise Performance Management), BI (Business Insight) and ERP. Nowadays it’s all about RPA (Robotic Process Automation), AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Blockchain, apparently – you...

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It’s time to take an Amazonian approach to technology in Finance

By Andy Burrows

With all the scare stories about “robots taking our jobs”, it’s easy to get the impression that we’d rather have robots doing jobs because they’re better than us.

Recently, I had to do a 2-minute presentation on the subject of why Finance should pursue automation opportunities. And I was given a PowerPoint slide with 10 or so bullet points full of buzzwords, telling how automation can reduce cost, improve customer satisfaction, improve consistency and traceability, support strategic platform upgrades and accelerate innovation, amongst other things.

Even my own eyes glazed over as I started to talk it through, so I cut to the real point.

Forget the buzzwords!

Forget the buzzwords. Humans are better than robots!

Robots don’t have intelligence.

Robots don’t interpret anything.

Robots don’t take action on information.

Robots don’t make strategies.

Robots don’t care if they win or lose.

Robots do:

Do repeatable,...

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Please can we stop saying that the future of Finance is all about RPA and AI! It’s not!

By Andy Burrows

So much ink has been spilled about the impact of technology and automation in Finance – RPA and AI and the like - that it’s starting to get a bit tedious. From reading all this stuff, anyone would think that there’s a robot army lining up to make us all redundant! And it’s written as if it’s at the forefront of everyone’s minds in Finance.

On the ground, in the real world of Finance in real world business, it’s not like that!

And we all know deep down that it’s hype! Who sponsors the conferences and the accountancy publications and the webinars that are spouting this stuff? The software vendors!! There’s a vested interest in inflated claims and understated costs/risks.

And yet it feels like the whole Finance and Accounting industry looks down on you if you’ve never heard of RPA, haven’t got a cloud ERP project planned, or you’re not talking about analytics and predictive modelling.

What we need...

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