Stepping Up for the Future of Finance

The CFO Checklist

Today, CFOs at companies of all shapes and sizes are under increasing pressure. Economic volatility and increasing regulatory requirements are just two factors that make the task of corporate finance more difficult. But in addition to their core duties of reducing costs, growing revenue, and protecting their enterprise’s reputation, there is a new expectation: to become more closely involved in strategic decision making.

Here are 7 essential steps to help finance executives prepare for the future.


89% of senior finance executives expect their finance function’s influence on business decisions to increase over the next five years.

Keep up with regulations

Compliance is a top priority for finance. But new and changing regulations, such as IFRS 9 and EMIR, can cause problems if enterprises are not prepared. This has given rise to “regtech” – new technologies designed to automate and streamline compliance activities. With the right software to back them up, CFOs can minimize regulatory risk and focus on other areas.

Automate core processes

The benefits of automation are not just limited to compliance, however. Accounting, reporting, and transaction processing are just three other areas that consume considerable time and effort. By automating these processes, finance executives stand to gain a significant amount of time for higher-value work.

Enable real-time analytics

Automation is a key step towards achieving real-time analytics – a crucial capability in the fast-moving world of finance. A recent study indicates that nearly three-quarters of the senior finance executives surveyed rated real-time access to consolidated cash information and analyses as an important or top priority. After all, outdated figures are of no use to anyone.

Streamline payment processes

As SMEs grow and expand across borders, payment processes become increasingly complex. Dealing with multiple currencies, procedures, standards, and banking institutions quickly drives up costs. Modern software can simplify these tasks, ensuring fast approval, timely payment, and reduced reliance on external services.

Deliver mobile applications

The challenging job of a finance executive requires the flexibility to work on the go. Thanks to cloud technology, mobile apps for finance are now possible. They enable cash managers to approve payment batches or check cash balances while out of the office, for example. This helps finance to keep up with the demands of the digital age.

Implement intuitive user interfaces

In addition to flexibility, efficiency is also important. This is where the user experience comes into play. Finance executives can perform their job much more easily when given clear graphical representations of their data and notifications for the most urgent tasks.

Enable what-if analyses and forecasts

Finally, one of the most valuable responsibilities of the finance function is to plan and budget for the future. This is where finance executives can become more involved in overall corporate strategy. With tools for forecasting cash flow, risk, and liquidity, enterprises gain detailed guidance for their future finance operations.

There is now a comprehensive set of solutions to help your enterprise tick off the points on this checklist and thrive in the digital world – SAP S/4HANA Finance. Powered by SAP HANA in-memory technology, it covers all areas of financial management, including:

  1. Financial planning and analysis
  2. Treasury and financial risk management
  3. Accounting and financial close
  4. Risk and compliance
  5. Collaborative finance operations

Its device-independent SAP Fiori user interface also simplifies work and increases productivity. What’s more, you have the option to deploy it in the cloud, giving you the benefits of flexibility and a non-disruptive migration path.



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