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The changing role of the CFO

The report, published by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants, identifies several emerging priorities that will affect the future role of the CFO.

Laurent Leloup
Laurent Leloup
This report discusses the future of the finance function, and in particular the future role of the CFO. It draws on discussions from the ACCA Accoutants for Business Global Forum, as well as insights from ACCA-IMA roundtables held in Shangai, New York, Moscow and Zurich in 2012, which discussed the way in which the role of finance leadership is evolving.

From these a common set of views emerged. These included emerging challenges in the areas of:
- regulation,
- globalisation,
- technology,
- risk,
- transformation,
- stakeholder management,
- strategy,
- reporting,
- talend and capability.

This report discusses each of these in details.

Introduction from Richard Moat

The outlook for the global economy in the short to medium term is greater uncertainty; fluctuating energy prices due to surging demand and supply disruptions, large currency fluctuations, commodity prices rises, public government deficits and cost cutting, inflationary pressures in some countries, and on-going environmental challenges.

All this is taking place against the backdrop of an inexorable longer term shift of power gravity from west to east, the growth of Brazil, Russia, India and China (the BRIC countries) (which are in turn facing their own growth challenges), and the rise of new emerging economies. These macroeconomic trends have a significant impact on the way in which businesses operate, the priorities they face, and the strategies they develop to be successful on a global platform.

This is the global environment in which tomorrow’s CFO’s will operate. It presents challenges that they must face, and opportunities they must embrace. This report begins to consider these challenges by summarising the key issues and priorities that will shape the future role of the CFO and the future of the finance function.
The report draws on discussions from a number of high profile CFO roundtables jointly held by ACCA and IMA in Shanghai, New York, Moscow and Zurich in 2012. I would like to personally thank those senior finance leaders who participated in the roundtables for sharing their observations.

Finally, the report also reflects an on-going dialogue from the ACCA Accountants for Business Global Forum, which brings together finance leaders representing both ACCA’s and IMA’s membership around the world to discuss the issues and trends of major significance affecting the role of the CFO and the broader finance function. I am delighted to presently chair this forum, and would like to take this opportunity to express my personal thanks to members for their on-going contribution.

Richard Moat is chief financial officer of Eircom Group and chairman of the ACCA Accountants for Business Global Forum.

Full report (PDF 16 pages in english):

Laurent Leloup

Mardi 20 Novembre 2012

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