These four tasks are certainly on the agenda for the CFO in 2022

These four tasks are certainly on the agenda for the CFO in 2022

The knowledge and skills required of a financial director continue to grow

The responsibilities of a CFO today are no longer limited to accounting and reporting. The figures from the SME Barometer of the software company Exact show that companies also increasingly rely on the other skills of a CFO. This means that the day-to-day portfolio of the financial director is constantly evolving.

"A CFO’s responsibilities have become more extensive, which makes it a very interesting, but also challenging, position. You need to ask yourself what external factors affect your business models and how you can make that work for you in a powerful way. Investing in automation is therefore an important step so that you have enough time for administrative tasks, visibility within the organisation and your role as the CEO’s right hand," says Alexander Rahusen, CFO of Exact.

Key tasks for the CFO in 2022

The following four tasks will play a greater role for the CFO and the team from 2022:

1. From accounting to advisory services

Traditionally, the CFO has been mainly responsible for accounting. The SME Barometer shows that this is still the case. As many as 40 percent of financial directors at most medium-sized companies say that 'accounting and reporting' take up most of their time. But this is certainly not the only task that matters. For a good quarter of respondents, broader administrative tasks, such as providing strategic advice, figure among their most important activities. This is a very useful activity, because the availability of a lot of relevant data makes it easier for CFOs to participate in discussions about a company’s vision and strategies.

2. The back office

Efficiency will be a major asset in 2022, together with speed, reliability and a customer-oriented approach. These are quite a few wishes, but with optimised work processes, this all comes together simply and logically for the outside world. At the back end, the CFO and his or her team extract as much as possible from the existing back office systems (think ERP – enterprise resource planning) and look at each link in the entire chain. 22 percent of respondents report that they regularly focus on this.

3. Knowledge of the industry

Besides having the necessary accounting knowledge, it is also becoming increasingly important for a CFO to understand how the business and the industry work. A major task for 35 percent of respondents is therefore 'compliance and control'. The CFO thus closely monitors both internal and external developments and makes important financial decisions for the company based on them.

4. Looking ahead using data analyses

Spending hours filling in financial reports behind a screen is now a thing of the past. Much of the bookkeeping is now automated, which means there is more time to look ahead with the help of data analyses. In 2022, therefore, the CFO will need not only to report data more rapidly but also to analyse said data fully. He or she must be able to think in scenarios and be able to link and harmonise data structures. Today’s technology is very helpful for gaining insights, but it is up to the CFO not to rely on them blindly. A good financial director combines reliable data with a well-developed instinctive feel.

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