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SIFMA: Technology Implementation


Webinar recap: How a tech-savvy finance team can give you a competitive edge

Jul 15, 2019

Can you believe we’re nearly two decades into the 21st century? In the past decade, technology’s evolution has pushed the business world into an even more hectic pace.

With new technologies, increasing domestic and global competition, and disruptors able to move more quickly than ever, CFOs are expected to develop a strategy and hire the right people to execute. 

What makes a tech-savvy finance organization?

The Wipfli team recently presented a webinar on how the right technology and philosophy can deliver value for finance teams, CFOs and organizations as a whole. The webinar, led by management, finance and technology specialists Shereen Mahoney and Brian Dietz, partners at Wipfli, LLP, discussed a wide range of topics and ideas for evolving the role of finance.

Watch our highly informative webinar here or read on to learn more.

The move from efficient to opportunity-driven

When many people think of the finance department of the past, they remember people known for saying no. Focused on cost savings and efficiency, past finance departments were historians and gatekeepers who needed to counteract the big picture thinking of the COO, the spend-money-to-make-money mentality, and the extreme drive of the CEO. 

However, in the past decades, the landscape has shifted. The COO post is largely gone (most COOs moved up to CEO and ended the position), and the CFO has had to pick up many of these operational responsibilities. This has changed the way the CFO and the finance department has needed to think of things.

Today’s finance department needs to focus on growth to keep the company sustainable. This means finding out when, where and how to move into new markets, think up new business models and allow for new products. Today’s CFO is no longer the efficient and cost-controlling CF-“No.” He or she is opportunity-driven and ready to make the company as fast and as nimble as possible.

The four roles of today’s CFO

As the organization becomes nimbler and the finance department becomes more informed, leadership needs to blend past roles with current ones. While you still need to maintain control over the finances and deliver strategic vision, you also need to lead the organization into new frontiers and know what risks to take. Deloitte discussed this as the “four faces” approach to financial leadership, highlighting the four archetypes each finance leader needs to fit into in 2019 and beyond:

  • The Operator: The objective of the Operator is to balance capabilities, talent, costs and service levels to fulfill the finance organization’s responsibilities.Key Focus: Efficiency.
  • The Steward: The objective of the steward is to protect and preserve the assets of the organization. Key Focus: Control.
  • The Catalyst: The objective of the Catalyst is to stimulate behaviors across the organization to achieve strategic and financial objectives. Key Focus: Execution.
  • The Strategist: The objective of the strategist is to provide leadership with respect to aligning financial and business strategies such as M&A, the investments and capitalization of the company. Key Focus: Performance.

Empowering your organization as a tech-savvy finance department

As the CFO role and the finance department continues to experience a renaissance, smart changes will secure your job title and empower your organization for years to come. With 2019 nearly halfway over, ask yourself the following:

  • What is my role in security and risk management? Does our organization have gaps?
  • Where are we on our cloud migration journey? 
  • How do we access information and inform decisions? Do we have tools that enable better visibility and insight?
  • What steps are we taking to deliver a modern work environment? Have we looked for opportunities to automate?
  • Are we growing or stagnating? What is the finance department’s role to ensure growth?

If you are looking to better answer any of these questions and lead your organization into the next decade on the right foot, we invite you to watch our on-demand webinar, Gain a Competitive Edge With a Tech-Savvy Finance Team.

At Wipfli, we know the challenges that organizations like yours face, and have helped thousands of companies in our history to do more with the right advice, products and services. Learn more about how we help companies like yours to do more and contact us today.


Brian Dietz, CPA
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Shereen Mahoney, CPA
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Brent Neitz
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