Strategy Coupa

The CFO Agenda: Transforming The Finance Function

Sponsored by Coupa

Listen to a recent Harvard Business Review webinar featuring Bob Woods, a partner at PwC, and Tabitha DeFrancisco, a director at PwC discuss how CFOs can lead disruption—and avoid being disrupted.

©Jirapong Manustrong/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Chief financial officers have insight into every business unit. Given their visibility into opportunities that can be unlocked by information-led transformations, it is no surprise that CFOs are assuming new strategic roles. They are tasked with guiding the growth of companies, building digital organizations, and transforming the finance function. To succeed, CFOs must first identify their objectives and then decide whether they will lead with people, process, or performance. As new finance roles emerge, CFOs must re-evaluate how they upskill existing talent and recruit new employees. Winning finance teams embody competencies related to technology, business acumen, data, strategy, and more. 

The role of the modern CFO has evolved to a highly strategic position with responsibility for digital transformation of finance organizations and the respective businesses they support. In order to transform organizations, we agree it is imperative for CFOs to begin transformation initiatives above the functional level, instead identifying company-wide objectives and how these goals ultimately impact stakeholders including employees and suppliers. 

Regardless of digital aspiration type—efficiency seekers, modernizers, re-definers, and industry explorers—the right technology provides the opportunity to achieve these goals without requiring heavy lifting in training across an organization with aspirations for modest adoption. With most CFOs striving to be modernizers, the objective is not only to disrupt, but to “survive disruption,” that is, not be disrupted. Remaining content with the status quo is not an option. 

To manage these changes, whether leading with people, process, or performance, CFOs must leverage technology to gain a complete, real-time picture of spend across their organizations. The technology selected to collect and analyze this data should not put a greater tax on your human resources. It must be comprehensive and open—covering procurement, sourcing, invoicing, expenses, supplier management, and payments, and connect seamlessly to third-party applications and service providers—in order to make informed, and in many cases automated, decisions about how to better manage spend. 

Business Spend Management (BSM), a unified set of business processes and supporting technologies that encompass these core transactions for spending money, offers this continuous, real-time visibility of spend data. It also, with equal importance, provides organization-wide control of spend, mitigating risk and enabling finance organizations to deliver value well beyond savings. 

One of the greatest benefits of BSM technology—beyond visibility and control of spend—is the Community Intelligence (CI) that it delivers, uncovering insights at scale across billions, if not trillions, of dollars of spend transactions taking place through one centralized cloud platform. This offers solutions such as benchmarking insights and risk mitigation products which can help organizations monitor every supplier to identify risk proactively and avoid business disruptions. 

With nearly one trillion dollars of spend managed through the Coupa BSM Platform across customers around the world including Airbus, P&G, MGM Resorts International, Caterpillar, Sanofi, Salesforce, and Unilever, Coupa is uniquely positioned to uncover trends in spend and offer prescriptive, tailored recommendations. Coupa has been repeatedly recognized by independent analysts for its completeness of vision to help businesses increase operational efficiency and the ability to execute this vision. Using Coupa-driven benchmarks, peer insights, and aggregated Community Intelligence (CI), it’s easier than ever to transform your finance organization.

Hear PwC and HBR discuss how CFOs can build the future of finance. CFOs have a privileged insight into every business unit and how they all interact with each other. This gives them a high level view into the opportunities that can be unlocked by information-led transformations and about how to drive them. 

Today, CFOs are being asked to take new strategic roles in guiding the growth of the company and building the digital organization. But there are challenges; CFOs also find the finance function being disrupted by the accelerating pace of technology change, new market pressures, and workforce shifts. 

In this interactive webinar, Tabitha DeFrancisco and Bob Woods from PwC, discuss: 

  • How familiar roles of finance will change 
  • How CFOs must change their thinking and find opportunities 
  • Which technologies will have the most impact on finance—and in turn the organization —and how finance officers will quickly leverage them 
  • What new skills sets will be needed