IS THE ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION READY FOR EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES, UPSKILLING, & DIGITALIZATION?
By: MiaCate Kennedy I
Recently I attended a Sage Event: CFO 3.0 Panel in San Francisco, California. Sage Intacct is pushing accounting software to new heights with AI automation and real time data with robust reporting, in order to help meet the demands of the new and growing role of what Sage calls, “CFO 3.0.” CFO roles are rapidly growing with demands that exceed those old accounting roles of monitoring business accounts. CFOs are no longer just finance number collectors and purveyors of spreadsheets and reports that don’t reflect real time results and data. New expectations by corporations on their CFOs and finance leaders will require CFOs to adopt and use emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, to provide vision and strategic business counsel to core, forward- focused business initiatives and direction. CFOs and finance leaders have access to the most crucial financial data, and they are continually expected to present data that will help equip their teams with performance decision-making strategies to optimize operations, meet continual compliance requirements and government regulations, and use real time data. Those who do not adopt digitalization and emerging technologies will fall behind in performance by those that have already started implementing the strategies and software that use emerging technologies. Sage has created the software to help move CFOs into their new roles and automate the accountancy function. BUT are corporations, CFOs, and finance departments, ready to move into these new roles? Are they ready for this financial digitalization transformation in the form of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Robotic Process Automation (RPA), or do they have corporate cultures, skills deficits, and shareholders that need to be educated into this present financial, emerging technology process? The digitalization of the finance sector including the accountancy profession, is rapidly changing. The “CFO 3.0” role is already unfolding but where do CFOs and finance leaders currently sit on the emerging technology spectrum, and what obstacles are they encountering?
Sage is continually asking important questions of its clients to produce software solutions that meet these critical new milestones in accountancy and finance. The role of CFO oversees crucial departments including IT, cybersecurity, risk, regulatory, and digital/cloud solutions. CFOs are in the remarkable position to become instrumental in corporate policy and strategy with the proper tools and culture. To understand where CFOs and CEOs are in this emerging technology path that is presenting itself, Sage interviewed 500 senior in-house financial decision-makers, which included not only CFOs, but finance directors, accountants, and controllers across the United States in a broad number of industries. They were able to compile a report that is both informative and compelling regarding where the future of the accountancy profession lies and where it must seek to grow in order to keep moving forward with emerging technologies that are currently available and advancing.
Download a copy of Sage’s “CFO 3.0 – Digital Transformation Beyond Financial Management” report at HERE