The Ledger No. 46: Modern Finance Teams

April 21, 2022 Sarah Dameron

Modern finance and accounting teams converging on conference room

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of what modern finance teams look like and how that will affect the finance and accounting industry this year and beyond. Read on to explore a few finance leadership trends, the rise of the modern finance leader, how finance teams can elevate their business this year and the new age of accounting.

The Weekly Ledger modern finance teams

Top Modern Finance Leadership Trends This Year

How are finance leaders preparing for this year and beyond? To ensure they’re on the road to success, many are developing new skills and adding new responsibilities to their plate. Furthermore, they’re adopting these trends that will benefit their company’s long-term goals:

  • Embracing strategy. It’s not enough to just crunch numbers anymore – leaders are having to utilize data and insights to make high-level decisions.

  • Prioritizing operational control. Ask yourself, “Where is my business now and where do I want it to be?” In order to scale fast, leaders need to invest in the best tools and resources as well as add visibility to day-to-day operations.

  • Streamlining processes. Choose a tech stack is that is easy, quick and improves workflow procedures. If you want to expand globally, you’ll need to invest in the right solutions.

  • Building resiliency. Attracting new talent in this day and age is crucial. Having the right technology and tools in place not only increases employee retention rates but attracts potential employees as well.

  • Integrating the right technology. For many teams, technology solves many challenges. And those that implement the right technology will discover how to improve their current processes, such as accounts payable.

The finance industry is evolving at a rapid rate. To learn what the next big trends in finance are, head over to cfodive.com to check out the full article.

Breaking the Mold: The Evolving CFO Role

Years ago, the finance function was a silent one – one that was largely done behind the scenes (yet still vital for business success). However, with the emergence of new technologies, many leaders are embracing this shift and suddenly, financial teams are being put front and center. And while crunching numbers and balancing the books is still necessary, the next wave of finance professionals looks a little different:

  • Leading with commercial excellence. The finance umbrella is no longer exclusive to just finance; it’s opened up a door to operations as well. This means that CFOs will need to keep up the pace with the changing landscape.

  • Mastering change. The whole C-suite is shifting. Controllers are taking on CFO-level responsibilities while CFOs are better aligning themselves with CEOs. Albert Einstein said it best: “A ship is always safe at shore but that is not what it’s built for.”

  • Translating financial data into real-world strategies. When you want to understand how well the business is operating, you typically turn to the finance department. CFOs have the ability to share insights to the C-suite and stakeholders about what’s working and what needs to be re-worked.

To learn more about how the modern CFO role is being primed for success, read the full article on globalbankingandfinance.com.

Top 5 Challenges That Modern Finance Teams are Facing (& How to Overcome Them)

It’s no secret that the pandemic threw everyone for a loop. And for the finance industry, this meant combating their Covid-related challenges head-on. Here are a few ways CFOs and their teams are facing those hurdles directly:

  • Employee burnout is taking the world by storm. However, to combat this phenomenon, CFOs will focus on making work less tedious and more engaging by deploying automation tools and investing time in high-value activities.

  • Remote and hybrid work has become a part of the new normal. On average, companies intend to decrease office space by 30 percent. CFOs need to help their organization adapt to this shift and help their team members find a comfortable medium.

  • Supply chain issues are still an ongoing dilemma. To minimize any supply chain delay, businesses will need a strong profitability and positive (and continual) cash flow.

  • Real-time data will drive business success. 99 percent of CFOs want to operate their business using real-time data, but only 16 percent do so. Having data at your disposal makes it easier to make decisions during uncertain times.

  • Business travel is making a comeback. And with business travel comes the reemergence of in-person events and budget reevaluations. Many companies will need to update their policies to include Covid-related considerations.

For more on how finance teams can boost their business in 2022, check out the full article on accountingtoday.com.

The New Age of Accounting: How to Prepare Your Employees

The accounting profession is changing. What was once considered a primarily data crunching function has now moved into a more strategic function with an emphasis on technology and critical thinking. And with the incoming generation of accountants needing to keep pace with the current landscape, employers now have an obligation to train their staff on new technologies and ways of thinking. Here’s how:

  • Foster a digital mindset. Technology can help offload and automate low-impact tasks that add little to no value to the organization. Companies need to ensure that their workers obtain the necessary skills to utilize these tools.

  • Enable decision-making. Technology is now viewed as a value-added resource that allows accounting professionals to focus on the bigger picture. In fact, new accounting graduates are tasked with projects that require higher level of strategic thinking.

  • Communicate effectively. One of the most important soft skills that is just as necessary as any technical skill an accountant can offer. Further, communication is a skill that will always be in demand and is crucial for interactions between coworkers, managers, and clients.

The best way to make sure that your team members remain indispensable to the company is by making sure they have the skills they need (through ongoing training) and by supporting them in their professional development. To explore more, read the full article on accountingweb.com.

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