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Making Strategy A Numbers Game: A CFO’s Perspective

PYMTNS recently interviewed the CFO for Billtrust (Ed Jordan) on the increasing challenges (both tactical and strategic) that are facing CFOs today.

The interview reflects the continuing evolution of the CFO’s role from purely an operational chief accountant / controller to one with real strategy responsibilities and need to embed themselves in all aspects of a company.

Here are some key excerpts from the interview:

“Chief financial officers have a lot on their plate — from ensuring an entire company is financially viable to managing activities that make that company not only efficient but also profitable.”

“A day in the life of the CFO in 2016 looks drastically different from just five or 10 years ago. With a significant shift away from manual processes and the onset of new technologies, a CFO’s responsibilities have broadened to encompass more than simply managing the P&L.”

“A CFO’s day is a bit unpredictable. I typically start off with a list of things that need to be accomplished — from corporate financial matters, to managing a broad group of people beyond the finance team, to HR, administration and operations. Then, other challenges pop up — from interfacing with the sales team on customer contracts and pricing, to real-time decisions with HR. There’s a balance between having to manage the departments you’re responsible for and finding time to be strategic.”

“There’s a big misconception that, as CFOs, all we do is pay bills, collect money and publish financial statements. The CFO’s role has evolved into becoming a thought leader for the company across a variety of areas, including pricing, customer needs and concerns, risk management and process improvements.”

“The industry has really evolved to focus heavily on automation and outsourcing finance and A/R functions. Billtrust has really embraced the digitalization era by automating and moving away from spreadsheets and licensed on-premise solutions. We now use cloud-based hosted solutions for most of our finance functions, including ERP, budgeting, planning, procurement and AP workflow."

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