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Strategy, Business, CFO - 5 min read

New technology is changing the province of CFOs from custodians of the past to navigators of the future. Instead of confining their expertise to producing balance sheets and regulatory documents, external CFOs are tapping new revenue sources and fueling fresh growth for the businesses they serve.

And that’s not all. Businesses have never had more tools and technologies for increasing productivity and efficiency. Deciding how to select and harness these tools requires expertise and strategy, and CFOs are stepping in and playing a pivotal role.

Monumental Shifts

Let’s take a look at some of the new technologies that are transforming businesses and industries.

Digital Transformation

A tsunami of digital opportunities is washing over Australian businesses. With so many options, it isn’t easy to sift through the possibilities and choose the best course of action. And yet, many organisations are moving forward. In fact, despite the global COVID crisis, direct digital transformation (DX) investment is anticipated to exceed $6 trillion during the years 2020-2023.

It’s a staggering amount of money, and CFOs will play a key role in deciding which digital technologies to incorporate in their strategies.

External CFOs can also help heads of functional areas to see potential financial returns from cross-functional data sharing and digital process reconditioning. The repayment of such initiatives can be transformative.

Productivity Revolution

The competitive intensity continues to accelerate, and established businesses face the impact of up-and-coming companies that fully leverage digital technologies. Additionally, the COVID crisis has prompted a shift in customer expectations, and many businesses have struggled to adapt to sudden changes.

New technologies can increase organisations’ productivity levels while simultaneously providing the consumer experiences people want today. They allow you to harness automation instead of using your employees to handle manual, repetitive tasks. This leaves your staff free to take on higher-level work that makes a difference in your business’s direction and success.

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Today’s Most Powerful Digital Innovations

What kinds of tech can your business employ for both digital transformation and the productivity revolution?

AI and Automation

Automation has propelled businesses forward since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, but AI and Machine Learning are pushing the boundaries once more. CFOs can assist with selecting and adopting touchless processes, especially for repeatable tasks, keeping your business competitive and highly efficient.

You may be able to free up your staff to focus on growth objectives when they no longer have to spend so much time reconciling bills and tracking customer records for errors. With pattern recognition and machine learning capabilities, you can deliver unprecedented levels of accuracy and productivity.

Robotic Process Automation

A specific development under the umbrella of Intelligent Process Automation (IPA), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) replicates human actions to complete a single task or an entire series of functions.

RPA can manage invoice queries, standardised email responses, ledger reconciliations and data entry. It’s perfect for tasks that require low judgment and are prone to error. Fortunately, RPA seldom requires a major IT transformation and can be applied to existing applications. Businesses can then redirect staff members to more value-added tasks that require their human judgment.

SaaS Architecture

Software as a Service (SaaS) technology saves time and money. This cloud-based software delivery method can revolutionise your finance department.

Many finance organisations spend much of their time assembling data and creating reports. With SaaS technology, many of those documents are generated automatically, freeing your staff to focus on analysis, insight gathering and improved partnering with stakeholders.

And with so much important information at your fingertips, you’ll be able to make better decisions as opportunities arise. An external CFO can help you operate more efficiently as you transition to a SaaS architecture.


PwC’s 2018 Global Blockchain Survey tallied surprising results: 84 per cent of organisations surveyed have some involvement with blockchain technology. How are these applications changing the role of external CFOs?

Regulatory Uncertainty

Blockchain technology is so new that many jurisdictions have not yet incorporated it into their policies and laws. Your external CFO can help you remain agile to meet regulatory requirements as they evolve in the coming years.

The Business Case

Some leaders love to adopt innovative technology, and blockchain is particularly appealing. But does your organisation have the business case for including it? A CFO can help provide clarity regarding critical alignment with your overall strategy.

An Industry Ecosystem

Some industries are adopting the technology wholesale, and you may need to collaborate with competitors during the transformation process. As CFOs work together to soothe the way, the entire industry can experience a renaissance.

Harnessing New Technologies

As you can see, new technologies are transforming the role of external CFOs. Digital transformation and the productivity revolution are in full swing, and a CFO can help you navigate the incredible array of applications and technologies available to businesses of all sizes.

To learn more about our external CFO services and how we can help you ride the tsunami of digital change, reach out to us at Altus Financial. We’ll be happy to answer any questions and set up a consultation. Speak soon.

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