May 18, 2020

What makes today’s CFOs different from the finance experts of the past? Data, primarily. In the era of CFO 1.0, the goal was collecting as much data as possible to figure out what was going on. After the evolution to CFO 2.0, the focus shifted to analyzing data to understand the why of financial performance. Now, with data volumes growing and analytic capacity expanding, the question is what next?

Today’s most ambitious and effective finance leaders fall under the title CFO 3.0. It refers to their ability to use data and data-driven technologies to predict financial performance. Instead of looking backwards, they look forwards to see both the opportunities and obstacles in front of the company. With the aid of that focused foresight, companies can react early instead of responding too late – putting them in control of their financial fate for the first time ever.

As the name would imply, the shift to CFO 3.0 represents a radical rethinking of what a CFO can and should do. It’s not just a different approach; it’s a whole new financial mindset, not to mention a paradigm shift in how CFOs serve their organization. If you’re eager to adapt to tomorrow instead of clinging to yesterday, get started immediately.

Technology – The Backbone of CFO 3.0

At the risk of being simplistic, CFO 3.0 is a lot like 1.0 + 2.0. Technological advances enable CFOs to collect and store data on a massive scale from myriad financial and non-financial sources. Related technologies also allow for lightning-fast and high-intelligent data analysis. Combine those capabilities, and CFOs can predict with high degrees of accuracy how the company will fare. It’s not a guarantee of success but an insulation from disruption.

Nothing is more important to CFO 3.0 than the right technology. It drives the effort, but if it doesn’t forecast the future as quickly, completely, or (most important) accurately as possible, CFOs can’t act confidently on the information. Therefore, becoming a next-generation CFO starts by selecting the best tools available now.

Introducing Sage Intacct Dashboards

Plenty of financial management solutions promise to empower the CFO, but Sage Intacct helps them evolve. It offers expansive data management tools designed to make lakes of financial data manageable and digestible. It also comes with intelligent and intuitive analytics tools that uncover all the insights hidden in those lakes. Those capabilities are important (and impressive) but they’re not what makes Sage Intacct a unique asset to CFO 3.0.

Dashboards are what turns data-driven insights into a decision-making tool. They single out key performance indicators and then automatically update the numbers as soon as they change – like a car dashboard but for financial performance. That way, the CFO and every other stakeholder understands the company’s exact financial footing before making any decision. Think of dashboards as a way to “look before you leap” without having to slow down your stride.

Implementing Sage Intacct won’t immediately inaugurate the era of CFO 3.0 – but it will go a long way. If you’re eager to adapt now instead of catching up later, contact CDH for guidance.