Date posted: 27/11/2018 2 min read

Rise of the Virtual CFO: linking people and technology to strategy

Awareness of the benefits of virtual CFO services is growing amongst SMEs, as firms embrace changes in technology and the marketplace.

In brief

  • Virtual CFO services are becoming more visible
  • A client need for data insights is increasing demand
  • Soft skills remain important across management

In the modern world, companies don’t need a full-time CFO to help them manage their business, especially if they’re a startup. New virtual services can help.

SMEs don't often have access to the hard commercial or self-awareness skills or the luxury of a full-time, well-rounded CFO that larger entities do. Moreover, the founders of new start up business ventures tend to all ask the same questions.

How do they access and/or challenge the fundamentals of a business model; how do they discover new ways of technology-enabled working; and how can they gain a sense of the impact of culture on their business outcomes?

And, more importantly, where can they access this wisdom? 

Virtual CFO services have been around for some years, but awareness of their benefits is now on the rise, with cloud technology opening up access to CFO expertise.

The client need for insights from data is increasing demands for broader, strategic services, while the virtual CFO enables smaller companies to benefit from services they previously couldn’t afford.

A true virtual CFO provider delivers a level of service that helps the client focus on successful business models, strategies and managing performance through accountability and self-awareness. The breadth of services is expanding to include business technology strategies and/or technology to business language translations, all the way through to executive coaching to help both the leadership and business evolve, gain a broader understanding of the value propositions of business models, and understanding pricing models for the subscription economy. 

Ermest Stabek FCA, Chair of IT&T Discussion Group

Rise of the Virtual CFO

Acuity Article in September 2018 Edition

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Accountants facing digital disruption should be brushing up on “soft skills” 

  • Technical skills are not enough to compete in the digital era. The ability to build and develop softer skills, such as empathy and creativity, offer candidates an edge.
  • As routine tasks become automated, skills and tasks that can’t be done by machines increase in value.
  • Just learning behaviour isn’t going to help. CFOs and heads of finance must create cultures where soft skills are empowered, encouraged and rewarded.

A parting quote to encourage you to start preparing for the future:

"The accountant of 2030 is likely to be highly creative, very digitally savvy, but bring high degrees of empathy and creativity to what they do ".
Aaron McEwan Gartner’s HR practice leader for Australia and New Zealand

Hard demand for soft skills

Acuity Article in Oct 2018

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