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Tomorrow’s CFO and the finance skills of the future

Podcast host Myles Corson welcomes Simon Bittlestone, CEO of Metapraxis, a financial analytics company, and Andrew Harding, chief executive of Management Accounting at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, which was created in 2017 when they brought  together the American Institute of CPAs and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA).

With a background in technology, Simon’s connection to Andrew began when he earned his CIMA qualification and developed a deeper understanding of management accounting as not just accounting for the balance sheet, but accounting for business.

For the last several years, Metapraxis and CIMA have been collaborating on a joint initiative called Tomorrow’s CFO, created to help set the agenda for the future of the finance profession, and help finance professionals take advantage of technological innovation.

Their research, “The Future of Finance,” including over 5,000 companies and individuals across the globe found the CFO mandate undergoing a significant paradigm shift that emphasizes communicating value to a wider group of stakeholders and embracing comprehensive digital transformation into the finance function. CFOs of tomorrow are expected to have more meaningful contributions to strategy and the performance of the business and develop deeper connections across the c-suite.

Technologies such as robotics process automation (RPA), analytics and blockchain are quickly absorbing once manual finance processes to improve efficiency and modeling capabilities. Advancing technology will not eliminate finance jobs but rather eliminate the enormous amount of manual input time, freeing up people to work closer to the business and help better understand trends and key business indicators that will support value creation.

Traditional finance reporting will be fortified by finance analytics and automation to give teams the tools needed to visualize performance better and make more informed decisions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Increasingly, CFOs are required to not only drive internal control systems, but also provide the business with critical decision support and value creation.
  • Finance transformation will require new skills that help understand data and leverage analytics technology and automation.
  • The future of finance will entail continual learning as research has shown the relevancy of a skill to be about four years. Continuous professional development (CPD) programs are a means to stay professionally relevant and competent.


Season 3, Episode 8


31m 11s

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