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6 Questions That Every CFO Should Ask

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Given the dynamic nature of today’s operating environment, CFOs and Finance & Operations leaders are faced with myriad challenges and decisions to take on behalf of their organisations.

There are financial complexities to deal with and decisions related to technology transformations with which to contend.

To ensure an edge competitively and foster an environment of financial health, here are six critical questions every CFO should ask.

Question 1: How can we boost the accuracy and efficiency of our transaction processing?

Many businesses contend with a high level of transactions. This can be overwhelming for AP teams and an ecosystem of requesters, approvers and suppliers.

CFOs must sponsor the deployment of solutions that can process transactions accurately, with minimal human touch and, where required, efficiently workflow tasks so that payments can be made quickly.

Savvy use of AI and automation can virtually eliminate manual data entry and the associated human errors, resulting in a more streamlined accounts payable process.

Question 2: What are the measures that a CFO or Finance Operations leader can implement to get an operational cost reduction?

Operational costs can take off, particularly when relying on human teams to address workload requirements.

CFOs must explore how technology can reduce these costs. For instance, AI-powered platforms can improve payables productivity by up to 75%, driving better resource allocation and savings in cost.

Question 3: How can we guarantee compliance and lessen fraud risks?

Cyber criminals operate in a global environment, and they are taking their best practices to a new level with enormous success.

A Google search throws up thousands, if not tens of thousands results demonstrating how real the threat of fraud is. Couple this with compliance regulations that are becoming more complex, and we have a very concerning operating environment to address.

CFOs must prioritise investments in fraud detection processes and seek solutions that automate adherence to the requirements of regulators.

Solutions with insights that are real time along with compliance management can protect businesses against financial loss whilst also maintaining the financial operations integrity.

Question 4: What about the scalability of technology and is it adaptable to your industry’s unique complexities?

Companies don’t operate in a vacuum of technology investment; they already have it in place and perhaps also have an IT roadmap with a 3-5 year view.

CFOs must collaborate with CIOs and transformation teams to re-assess whether prior decisions are taking advantage of recent developments in AI. As the technology landscape evolves and industry evolves so does what is on offer to address transaction volumes.

Are current investments and roadmaps satisfactorily going to address the unique challenges of your industry and you are adapting accordingly?

It’s critical to have systems that not only meet current needs but are also flexible enough to handle the demands of the future and industry-specific challenges.

Seek out a partner that listens to your needs and drive outcomes not just the provision of the software and then walks away.

Question 5: How can we improve our supplier relationships and their management?

Frictionless supplier management is a critical driver for procurement processes that are smooth.

CFOs should evaluate how technology can facilitate easy communication and collaboration with their suppliers, given this leads to an improvement in terms and more fruitful partnerships.


Question 6: What is the long-term ROI of our investments in technology?

Lastly and no surprise, CFOs should evaluate the long-term return on investment for any technology solution. Also confirm if your potential supplier will commit to standing behind the delivery of the outcomes proposed in the business case.

It’s also very important to not just consider the short-term benefits but also the long-term outcomes, such as cost savings, improved cycle times, and better decision support capabilities.

In asking these questions, CFOs can track their businesses toward achieving excellence in financial growth and health, optimising their operations with technology, lessen risks, and drive success for stakeholders.

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6 Questions That Every CFO Should Ask
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