A lot has been said recently about digital transformation and how it affects your business, your accounting department, and the CFO of today's world. It’s also become the new buzzword or catchphrase, and it seems like every company on earth is talking about their move to digital.
What does digital transformation look like, and how can CFO’s leverage the new and emerging technologies to ensure that they’re keeping up with the rapid changes taking place all over the industry?
From COVID-19 to the Asian debt crisis to the 08/09 financial collapse, the financial landscape is rapidly changing, and being able to keep up is more important now than ever before.
On this week’s episode of CFO Weekly, our guest is Thomas Anderson. Thomas is the Managing Director at Moneycorp Americas, and he talked all about how COVID has changed the CFO role, the biggest pain points facing CFOs, how Moneycorp are solving those pain points, and how CFOs can leverage the latest innovation to stay current.
COVID & the CFO Digital Transformation
Everybody is painfully aware of all of the ways that COVID has changed the world. There are hundreds of articles that have been written on the topic, but what we focused on in this episode was the way that COVID has specifically changed the role of CFO.
COVID hasn’t so much changed the role of CFO as it has accelerated certain aspects, and highlighted the necessity of others.
One of those things that have been accelerated is the need to ensure that you have a solid foundation. While it may seem like it should go without saying, so many companies tend to overlook the basic fundamentals as they grow. Things like knowing your outstanding positions, liquidity positions, credit lines, among others.
These are typically brought together pretty easily in person, but doing it remotely has presented even more of a challenge.
The other acceleration comes in the form of automation. Five years ago, automation wasn’t at the forefront of many people’s minds. There were enough people to do the work, and that was that. But now, companies are constantly looking for ways to not replace human labor, but streamline it. Taking away some of the mundane minutiae that comes with financial work, freeing people up to focus on other things.
Understanding Pain Points
When asked about the pain points that CFOs are facing as of late, Thomas was quick to identify several that come up quite often for him and his team.
The rapid growth of companies now that the economies are starting to reopen, coupled with the sustained supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have put a lot of CFO’s in a tough spot. How do you rapidly grow your organization and bring in the revenue needed, while having to juggle product shortages and limitations?
Now take those pain points, add in remote workers, and then throw foreign currency exchange on top of that, and you have a whole hodgepodge of things that are competing for time, attention, and resources.
Moneycorp is Helping
A lot of industries are struggling, and first and foremost, Thomas and his team want their customers to know that they’re in it for the long haul. They’re around to make sure that their customers’ needs are met long term.
That looks like things like flexible credit terms. Knowing that not everybody is the same, and that one size doesn't fit all. It looks like help with automation. Removing the inefficiencies and time wasters that often bog down businesses. It looks like help with hedging issues when it comes to foreign currency exchange. And that’s only a fraction of what Moneycorp can do to help.
Digital Transformation for the CFO & Business Owners
The key step in embracing digital transformation and innovation is knowing your relationships. It’s hard to know where you’re going if you don’t have a handle on who’s going there with you. Nobody has a monopoly on ideas, so talk to your partners.
Everybody needs a roadmap. You wouldn’t set out on a cross-country road trip without taking a look at the map and at least, in theory, planning out the route you’re going to take. What’s your hedging policy? Your payments policy? What jurisdictions are you operating in? Think of these things as your “pre-trip vehicle check.”
Now that you’re ready for the road trip, what are the steps to get there?
First, build the foundation. Make sure you’re in line with your owners of the company, the board of directors, etc.
Second, identify your building blocks. Things like good data, a conservative approach, risk management, and more. Be dynamic in your approach though, because if you’re not, you’ll be caught not being competitive.
And finally, make sure you’re reviewing and rewinding. What worked in the past may or may not work in the present or the future, so make sure that you’re constantly fine-tuning your strategies and digital tools in light of current market trends.
Want to hear more from Thomas? Make sure and listen to the entire interview.
Presented by Personiv
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