The role of the CFO is not what it used to be — and that doesn’t just mean it’s different. In addition to the traditional responsibilities a chief finance leader carries, CFOs are increasingly tasked with responsibilities outside a realm of dollars and cents.
CFOs are up to the challenge, but the path forward is anything but clean cut. CFOs of today and tomorrow have to flex different muscles than before. CFOs have to take a front seat when it comes to digital transformation initiatives and establishing cross-functional visibility to their organizations. It can be an uphill battle to track down what’s actually going to help you cut down on costs.
And the role is not purely about managing cost anymore. Increasingly, CFOs are working in conjunction with people teams and HR leaders to understand how to attract and retain talent. Resource allocation responsibilities now go beyond fiscal resourcing, extending into human capital to drive growth. That means in addition to fiscal duties, CFOs must keep employee satisfaction top-of mind.
CFOs can take on these new responsibilities to control costs without sacrificing employee experience, all while moving their organizations’ growth up and to the right — here’s how.
Seizing control of spending requires starting at the root of the problem: data. Your spend problem isn’t an issue around cost-cutting, fiscal responsibility, or trimming the fat — it’s a data problem.
How can you track down where your organization’s cash is flowing if you’re not starting with data? Clean, accurate, trustworthy data gives you a holistic view of cost centers, who’s spending effectively, and who’s not.
Data-driven decision making should be a priority for every CFO this year, and that starts with getting visibility into where your spend is at any given time. Look for centralized, tech-forward tools that give you access to the financial and organizational data you need in real-time so you have concrete figures to back up crucial decisions.
CFOs must find ways to drive long-term performance in unexpected ways — which includes leveraging business travel as a strategic mechanism for growth. Corporate travel makes up 10% of controllable spend, and it’s critical to measure the ROI of your company’s investment for it to truly drive business growth.
CFOs must don their company culture hats and deliver an exceptional corporate travel experience to get control over travel data, get visibility into spend, and collect valuable insights into T&E spend. It may seem counterintuitive, but investing in an overwhelmingly positive experience for your employees will help the bottom line as you scale and grow. When you have high employee adoption of your desired tools, you gain visibility into planned spend, expense reports, and more sooner rather than later.
With the right tools in hand and a perspective that goes beyond purely fiscal responsibility, CFOs can champion better business outcomes through a modern, traveler-first corporate travel program.