Virtually every industry and position has become more tech-oriented, and the CFO’s office is no exception. Technology has become such a critical need for CFOs that in a poll from Robert Half Management Resources, more than 40 percent of the finance professionals surveyed cited the need to keep up with technological change as their most pressing challenge. Here’s how you can meet that challenge today and into the future with some tech-savvy choices.
Prioritize Tech Knowledge for New Hires
When you hire financial personnel with knowledge of essential technology, you build a strong, agile team that’s able to keep up with the ever-accelerating pace of change. The good news is that rising stars in the finance sector often have a strong foundation in IT as well. Whether it’s a thorough knowledge of Excel macros to implementation of some of today’s leading finance software, tech know-how is an asset.
Work with In-House IT
You have an outstanding resource within your organization already: the IT department. Your CIO, network administrator, or IT supervisor can bring you up to speed on how the technology behind your software works, which in turn gives you insight into its capabilities. When you harness the full power of the tools you already have at hand, you’re able to save your organization significant time and effort finding new solutions to problems you may not have.
Take some time to attend courses and conferences that give you new perspectives on your role, and you’ll be better prepared to meet the technology challenges that inevitably arise with every new update and generation of software. Many CPA conferences now feature sessions focusing on the intersection of finance and technology. To understand more about accounting-related tech, talk to your fellow CFOs and finance professionals at these events.
Incorporate Everyday Tech
Not all the tech you encounter is business-related. Getting more proficient at using search engines or setting up RSS feeds and Google Alerts with important tech keywords will keep you up to date on a daily basis. Joining user groups for systems you currently use or pan to invest in soon can be an invaluable resource for problem-solving, and user forums are a friendlier way to seek solutions than poring over tech manuals.
Share Knowledge with Other CFOs
To get a better handle on technology-driven finance, the best people to network with are often your fellow CFOs. They speak your language and understand many of the challenges you face even if they aren’t in your specific industry. By meeting with other CFOs to talk tech, you gain exposure to a wide range of technological solutions and advances. Those additional perspectives are especially handy for CFOs who must wear many hats within their organizations.
No C-level executive can be without a working knowledge of leading-edge technology, and that’s particularly true of CFOs who rely on analytics to do their jobs effectively. Learn more about the technology that drives your analyses, and you’re able to get better performance from it.