Part I: The Changing Role of the CFO: Accounting ERP Software Expert

As a CFO, you wear many hats—and one of them is accounting ERP software expert. Today’s CFO provides insight, guidance, and expertise in many areas of accounting and finance. That includes software selection and use for the accounting department.

In Part I of this two-part series on the changing role of the CFO, we’ll explore the impact of accounting ERP software on the work of the CFO. In Part II, we’ll look at the overall effect of accounting ERP software on the organization as a whole.

Today’s CFO: Leader and Thinker

The role of the CFO has emerged well beyond that of accounting guru in the manufacturing environment. Today’s CFOs are thinkers, doers, and leaders. You’ll find a CFO equally at home in the IT department as in the Boardroom. They’re preparing quarterly budgets, addressing shareholders, answering questions from managers, and exploring ways in which the accounting and finance department can make a more significant impact on the company.

This role now encompasses the role of technology leader, too. In the past, software selection may have been delegated to someone in the information technology or systems department who could understand the jargon and wade through the RFP process to find software for the company. Now, however, the CFO is an integral part of the process.

That’s the way it should be. The CFO knows which features the team in the accounting and finance department need to do their jobs. This knowledge, combined with an understanding of the strategic role that accounting plays in the manufacturing organization, is crucial to choosing the right accounting ERP software for the company.

CFO as Security Leader

Another area in which the CFO plays a critical role is in cybersecurity. Choosing the right accounting ERP software means selecting a system that offers excellent security.

A ransomware attack can costs companies $5 million to correct. Estimates of risk are shocking; one out of five files in a company are at risk for a security breach, and that number may be low.

Knowing the risk is the first step to fighting cybercrime, but action must be taken to prevent, protect, and defend against attacks. The CFO is often the front-line fighter, acting as coach to the staff on how to spot phishing emails or what to do if a suspicious request comes to their desks. The CFO may coach the team on the protocols to handle requests from the CEO, for example, for security codes and passwords. That’s a standard phishing scheme used by criminals to trick employees into divulging sensitive information, by the way—they pretend to be the CEO and contact a lower-level employee who, startled by receiving a communication directly from the top, complies with the request and divulges the passcodes. The CFO may be the leader who teaches everyone about these and other risks.

As an accounting ERP software expert, the CFO helps choose software that offers higher defenses against cyber attacks. Cloud-based ERP software such as Sage 100cloud, for example, provides another layer of protection, but the CFO must also train, guide, and encourage staff to use common sense.

The CFO’s role continues to emerge as technology shapes and changes the workforce. In Part II, we’ll look at the impact of ERP accounting software on the role of the CFO and how it helps in the manufacturing accounting environment.

Download this free eBook from Acumatica for additional insight into the role of the modern CFO: Top Technology Challenges of the Modern CFO.

Emerald TC

For a free consultation, call Emerald TC. Emerald TC is an Atlanta-based consulting organization that offers Acumatica, Sage 100cloud, and other solutions to help small and mid-sized businesses improve their productivity and efficiency. Please contact us or call 770.377.8334.

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