Tech CFOs bat for digitisation of financial functions by companies

A CFO has to step-up and drive transformation in a business by harnessing digital power for creating differentiating capabilities

Indian corporate CFOs on Friday batted for companies to digitise their financial functions at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Conclave 2019.

"New business models are forcing companies to innovate, adapt and transform for a digital customer first world. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer in the future, it is here and now," said Honeywell Automation Chairman Suresh Senapathy.

Themed 'Tech CFOs', the one-day conclave featured chief financial officers from a wide variety of industries deliberating on the impact of technology and digitisation on the traditional financial functions.

Senapathy said that in an era of disruption where global forces are altering the way we work and live, companies which are only flexible, agile and adaptable will thrive.

"CFOs cannot afford to spend the majority of their time on traditional financial functions. We need to leverage the vast flow of data that a digitised world is generating. It is no longer whether a company will be disrupted, it is when and how," said Senapathy.

Pradip Kanakia, South India Price Waterhouse Coopers' managing partner and assurance leader, said a CFO in a company is best placed to drive the organisation's digital transformation.

"They have touch points with every function in the organisation, they know the systems, they know the processes and they understand the business," said Kanakia.

However, he pointed that a traditional CFO's role and responsibility remains as it is without any dilution.

A CFO has to step-up and drive transformation in a business by harnessing digital power for creating differentiating capabilities, he said.

According to MTR Foods CFO Ganesh Shenoy, CFOs should serve as change agents with a foresight to incorporate technology.

"Digitisation is now a realistic goal for the finance function because of a range of technological advances," said Shenoy.