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The growing role of CFOs

Nurdianah Md Nur | July 17, 2014
Trevor Young of OANDA identifies the technologies that CFOs should invest in and provides advice on how CFOs can help their companies innovate while being compliant.

How does a fully-automated exchange rates system streamline the CFOs' workload?
There are multiple areas within the organisation that rely on currency data. The typical situation we come across is when a controller is manually copying exchange rates into their ERP or financial system on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. This is a fairly trivial task but takes time.

It's also easy to make mistakes. If you copy the wrong data, if you aren't capturing the right data (closing price vs. midpoint vs. average), or if you're not getting the data at the same time of the day, week or month, you end up with inconsistent results. Of course, this is magnified if you're doing this across multiple functions (accounting, treasury, human resources, etc.) as well as across multiple regions or divisions across an enterprise.

CFOs can easily automate this process using a single rates API to feed into their core systems and control the specific data, the timing and the granularity required for each unique department. OANDA Exchange Rates is used by the big four accounting firms, recommended by most regional tax authorities and is easily integrated with software used by most organisations today.

How should CFOs balance innovation with compliance?
You can innovate and still be compliant. Within the CFO function there are many rigid boundaries and as such, there may be less room for 'creative innovation' but it all comes down to understanding the problems you are trying to address and whether there are ways to solve them through technology.

CFOs don't necessarily have to be the ones implementing innovative solutions but they can identify areas of innovation, focusing on efficiencies and leveraging technology to automate tasks and reduce errors. In doing so, it can free up individuals to focus more on strategic areas of the business.As CFOs focus more on the data that drives decisions, they can help departments such as human resources, information technology, product and marketing identify areas to optimise revenue, save on costs or create new markets. 


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