As we have already partly mentioned, the role of the CFO is much more extensive than, say, five years ago.
COVID-19 has shown us that (financial) processes must be digitalised. During a lockdown, companies are forced, even compelled, to work from home. Manual input, such as booking invoices and scanning forms, makes it practically impossible to do this from home - Automation is key.
The global economy will not look like before. Cost efficiency is the goal and digital automation is the path to follow. For example, companies save up to 70% of their administration time and costs just by digitalising and automating their expense and invoice management.
Not only the financial picture has to be accurate. The CFO is co-responsible for making the right decisions using substantiated, objective data insights. He or she has become a critical referee in the board of directors when constructive discussions are in progress. A CFO must be objective, transparent and, as already stated, dares to contradict if necessary.
Today, the CFO has acquired additional responsibilities for cyber and digital transformations, automation and other IT actions, and must also take into account the necessary compliance procedures. This has even moved up a gear as a result of COVID-19.
To grow in these (new) roles, as CFO you need to look at the organisation objectively on the one hand and take a step back on the other: "which other functions could I still perform in the company?"; "how do these overlap with my current tasks?"; "which initiatives would have the most impact in the company?" and "how can I realise quick (performance) benefits in these new areas?".
As a CFO, one should 'sponge'. Absorb as much information as possible, read as many business publications as possible and train yourself continuously. Step by step, your knowledge will increase.