Mar 30, 2015

PICPA Responds to the Transformative Role of the CFO

By Mike Colgan, PICPA Executive Director and CEO

Google the above title and you will find a wealth of information on the evolving role of the CFO in the business environment of today. Much of this information is provided by Big 4 firms and international organizations and publications that provide a global outlook of the CFO transformation.

The role of the CFO is changing toward business-oriented priorities. Many CFOs see a need to enable revenue growth, ensure risk management, and support a positive customer experience at their organizations. The CFO has to focus more on analytics for effective decision support than on transaction processing. Of course, technology will act as an important enabler in this, requiring the CFO to collaborate more closely with the CIO on technology deployment decisions, but also on other parts of the business, such as sales and marketing.

The pace of technological change is increasing. Big data, and the associated analytics, are critical to an organization’s success. Process automation, mobile technologies, cloud computing, and social media are driving these opportunities. There is an evolving expectation that CFOs and their finance teams will work more closely with CEOs, taking on a broader role in providing management information and analysis and becoming more influential in how their enterprise is managed. Decision support and strategy are key roles for the new CFO.

AICPA’s joint venture with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants to create and promote the CGMA credential shone a light on this evolution. Together, they have created many tools and resources to help finance professionals acquire and manage the skills necessary to succeed in today’s global business environment. Check out those resources at www.cgma.org.

The PICPA is working to enhance our own community of CFOs and finance professionals to provide opportunities for building networks and sharing information on the future of the finance function. I hope you will join us for our kickoff event April 30, 2015 – C-Sweet Finance and Leadership from Tastykake and More. This event will be held at the new state-of-the-art Tasty Baking Company headquarters at the Philadelphia Naval Yard. Our distinguished panel will include Paul Ridder, president (and former CFO) of Tasty Baking Company; Joe Ritzel, CFO of Day and Zimmerman; Neil Lubarsky, CFO of Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; and Ash Noah, vice president management accounting of the AICPA. PICPA president Jerry Maginnis from KPMG will serve as moderator. This event promises to be an outstanding opportunity to hear from CFO leaders on their evolving roles and develop key contacts for future discussions.

If you are a professional working in industry this will be a can’t-miss event. If you are in public practice, be sure to let your client CFOs know about this event. We look forward to hearing your experiences in the transformation of the CFO.

Philadelphia-area CFOs or finance executives looking to grow their networks can also attend our Wine & Cheese Social on April 16 at the Continental roof deck. The event will be co-hosted by the PICPA and CFO Leadership Council. PICPA members attend free.

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Statements of fact and opinion are the authors’ responsibility alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of PICPA officers or members. The information contained in herein does not constitute accounting, legal, or professional advice. For professional advice, please engage or consult a qualified professional.