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How finance leaders are building the future of finance today

Pat Grismer, Former CFO Starbucks, Hyatt Hotels and Yum Brands, and Cory Hrncirik, Microsoft Modern Finance Lead, discuss the future of finance.

In this special episode of the Better Finance podcast, Pat Grismer, Former CFO Starbucks, Hyatt Hotels and Yum Brands, and Cory Hrncirik, Microsoft Modern Finance Lead, join Myles Corson for a wide-ranging discussion on the future of finance. Their discussion covers the role of the CFO, the importance of a strong culture and why CFOs need to spend more time on talent, how the finance function can have an even greater impact in strategy and resource allocation, and the need for more data.

The discussion begins on some of the biggest challenges facing CFOs, who are looking to transform their organizations through strengthening their agility and resiliency to be prepared for what’s next. The past few years have seen significant disruption because of radical changes in consumer habits and preferences, technological innovation, and an elevated social conscience. These changes are requiring companies to adjust business models, and that has been incumbent upon CFOs to determine how best to evolve their planning, forecasting and resource allocation processes so they can respond with greater agility to ensure their organization remains relevant and growing.

Cory shares that many of the CFOs he talks to are facing an ever-increasing need to ensure that their people can keep up with the demands of growing business models. People responsible for forecasting and budgeting have a significant amount of data thrown at them, and it can often be too much for them to wrap their arms around.

High-performing finance functions of the future will need to put an increased focus on talent, especially in an environment where labor is becoming even tighter. It will only become more difficult to attract and retain the right kind of talent in a finance organization, so CFOs must spend even more time focusing their organization on talent attraction and retention.

Within an organization, there is an opportunity for finance as a function to have even greater impact and influence by behaving like a business partner, not a function that exists solely to report the numbers. World-class finance functions will use their numbers and data to tell stories in ways that support the business in achieving its objectives. When finance professionals understand that, the function has the capacity and the potential to have much greater impact and influence on the business.

Key Takeaways

  • CFOs have an important role supporting investments in ESG while continuing to drive the company’s economic engine.
  • Talent and culture are a key element of the CFOs agenda, particularly attracting and developing for emerging skills.
  • CFOs can increase their impact by adapting how they communicate to better engage with key stakeholder groups.
  • CFOs have a never had a better opportunity to transform the finance function by setting a clear vision, empowering their people to adopt a growth mindset and unlocking the power of data and technology.


Season 4, Episode 4


32m 28s