From data to insights: Are you a modern finance leader?
A “modern-day” finance leader – but what does that mean? Here's the top six questions all finance leaders must ask themselves, from Concur's Dafydd Llewellyn.
Surely, we all behave in a modern way to some extent; using new technologies, adopting the latest tools, posting the odd tweet? However, if you find yourself with your head buried in spreadsheets more often than thinking about the strategic direction of your business then you may need to have a rethink.
But why now? The answer is simple, and all mainly down to that little thing that “modern” CIOs like to call digital disruption. Traditional skills and values still have a hugely important part to play but in this brave new digital world, having the ability to deliver quality insights and improved reporting is not only a priority, it’s become essential.
The time is right for an evolution
The scale of the evolution will depend on how modern a CFO or Finance Director you are already. The good news is, you may be more modern than you think. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to gauge how far you must go before being hailed as that modern finance leader.
1. Do you put customer experience at the heart of everything?
The true value of customer data is unlocked when customers are treated as unique individuals, providing the insightful fuel for future marketing campaigns. Are you enabling and encouraging teams in the business to use technology and strategies that put customers first?
2. Would you say you embrace or shy away from collaboration?
Develop meaningful collaborative relationships, both internally with other departments and with external suppliers and like-minded partners. Good communication and collaboration is one of the key features that sets modern finance leaders apart.
3. How innovative are you?
Don’t be afraid to be an early adopter. Hire and train the right people to keep up with the latest technologies to exploit digital to the max. Lead by example and scrutinise your own finance processes – are they modern or manual?
4. Which direction are you facing?
Be forward-thinking.By looking to the future, you can constantly evaluate new markets and seek opportunities to expand and grow. And yes, that means looking back to understand past performance, pitfalls to avoid and opportunities to grasp.
5. Are you an analytical person?
Monitor industry trends and forecasts. Along with analysis of the competitive landscape you’ll be able to create detailed business insight that drives assured decision-making.
6. The big S – are you Strategic?
Look beyond the numbers locked away in spreadsheets. Try and visualise the big picture, by adopting a long-term view that will shape future decision-making and influence strategy.
By embracing digital and adopting new cloud-based technologies, the modern-day finance leader is well-positioned to rise to this challenge. Seated at the heart of the business, you are perfectly placed to bring order from the chaos caused by this digital disruption. And this is what the business is looking for you to do. So, the question is – how modern do you feel?
If you’d like more information about the practices and perceptions of 500 finance leaders in the UK today, take a look at a recent report we commissioned – The Finance Leader Report.
Dafydd Llewellyn is Managing Director of the UK SMB and Nationals team at Concur. For 13 years he’s been a central part of Concur’s success in the UK, helping businesses automate their complex expense and invoice processes. He’s seen the industry evolve from on-premise software to cloud solutions and, as someone who has spent years on the road, he’s passionate about how mobile technology can improve the lives of business travellers.
This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the commercial partner and not necessarily those of ICAS.