Future CFOs Skills and Leadership Attributes



The role and characteristics of the future CFO are expected to be significantly influenced by the rapid technological developments in the business environment. The introduction and widespread application of concepts such as Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain and Big Data, makes the CFO's role something much more than the traditional role of overseeing the business finance segments. They make them the most important person for analyzing and predicting the financial events that will be occurred and concern the environment of his entity.


Data Analysis and CFO Role: In the past a CFO had a very transactional based way to work. However, by the recent years this is starting to change, and CFOs are quickly becoming more analytical by using Data Analytics to extract qualitative and actionable insights. The large volume of data in combination the need of businesses for these helpful insights makes the CFO of the future a true business partner who will provide these insights in the future for board decisions.


CFO’s adaptability to new technologies: While technology is rapidly increased in the business environment, CFOs work can no longer be relied on old tools. The CFO of the future is required to enable and apply innovation so to manage risk better and take a better advantage to the insights he will extract, than the traditional measurements such as ROI, ROCE e.t.c.


Artificial Intelligence, Bots and Blockchain: AI will do the leg work on various fnance functions while the CFO and the finance team will add analysis and drive growth. By the foundation of crypto-currencies, blockchain has already played a vital role in next-generation finance tools. Real-time synchronized edited financial documents and automated processes much easier to update with variable financial rules, will help CFO’s to take care the stewardship and shareholders maximizing wealth in a more effective and quality way. Also, these technologies indicate a restructuring of the financial landscape. In the future, finance teams will have to concentrate their efforts on future focused opportunities for the business and spend more time on forecasts and performance planning.

Management of technological risks: As tech grows and presents more complex risks to business, expectations on the CFO will be high. They’ll be required to implement and manage cutting-edge risk management processes within the finance department and business as a whole.


True Leadership: The future CFO will need to develop leadership skills to not only manage talent but also implement development strategies that work across remote teams with geographic and language differences. He will be required to be able to see the ‘big picture’ and play a key role in strategic capital allocation and corporate leadership decisions. He has to be a key leader with intellectual and emotional agility, and possess sophisticated decision-making, problem-solving and communication skills. Also, while working effectively with board and investors, he has to manage people and interact effectively with a lot of stakeholders, so to drive strategic changes.


There is no doubt that the CFO will continue to be a critical asset for financial strategizing and business analysis. The future CFOs will need to increase their already-large scale perspective to better understand global trends better and make accurate financial predictions. They will need to serve as primary business strategists, requiring a knack for foresight, forecasting, and risk-benefit analysis. It’s also possible that the future CFO will become an even more important representative to the company. Their social skills such as presenting, negotiating, pitching, listening, etc. will all become more critical as they need to articulate important aspects of the company to investors, partners, or the public.

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