The changing role of the CFO in these unprecedented times

31 January 2021 | Chris Bartram

CFOs play a critical role in an organisation. From managing the financial operations to analysing the strategic decision making of the company, the role of CFO is of critical importance.


Ever since the outbreak of the Covid-19, businesses globally have witnessed severe uncertainty, which has further heightened the need for stringent decision making by the senior management of any organisation.

Many industries had to redirect their long-term and short-term strategies to achieve their goals. Moreover, several industries have remodeled their goals based on the external factors arising because of the changing market dynamics.

For a CFO, the situation is no different, management of cash flows and planning according to the market volatility is now very much demanding and challenging. While businesses are in severe pressure with the prediction of one of the worst recession period of recent times, CFOs have also been under the radar and are assigned to understand and identify the risks facing the company, mitigate their organisation’s exposure, formulate strategies to sustain their financial outlooks and, develop realistic projections for a long-term impact. As the market dynamics are changing rapidly and radically, the decision-making capabilities of the CFO’s will be tested at every level. Possessing the ability to effectively forecast the most relevant future scenarios, identification of threats and rise of opportunities, all at the same time will define the strategical and operational capabilities of the CFOs in the current scenario.

A CFO’s role is always critical and prone to a huge impact on organisations.

Amidst the current pandemic, where organisations are dealing with extraordinary circumstances with rapid changes affecting their human and financial capital. In this scenario, the financial health of businesses has also witnessed adverse and unforeseeable challenges of very slight growth with a huge decline in margins.

For stabilised liquidity generation and long-term recovery of the business, CFOs need to rely on modern technologies, this will not only help them in understanding the implications of the revenue streams but also alleviate the risk that poses threats to the business’ ability to generate profits while maintaining the company’s risk appetite. The current times have put extreme pressure on the companies to cut down their variable operating expenses for the shift, or reduction of the burden accordingly.

The data gathering and analysis of most of the companies depend on the level of exactness and proficiency with the tools being used for this process. Conventional tools like spreadsheets are more likely to be scrappy, lengthy, and inaccurate which may result in misrepresentation of critical data. When each additional pound on the line, financial management cannot be solely dependent on the conventional and time-consuming methods for data management, validation, and consolidation. With the growing trend of big data and digital tools to collect and analyse data, CFOs must adopt smart and modern solutions for data processing.

The availability of a synchronised financial planning strategic tools can uplift the decision making of a CFO. Now, more than ever with the radical changes in business processes CFOs need to be updated and have first-hand information in a blink of an eye.

As the business dynamics are changing and organisations have switched to work from home, the cloud technologies and digital era are integral parts for any team. Therefore, the availability of real-time data for the finance team is a challenge and needs to be made a key priority. Only with the ability of timely influx of data and its management, a CFO can ensure to deliver and meet the set goals.

Quick identification of variations in business scenarios and their instant linking was something which CFOs were not equipped with before. Technological advancements have helped in bringing precision and comprehension to the domain of a CFO.

If capacitated with the ability to forecast outcomes of ever-changing business dynamics in real-time, CFOs will be able to utilise available resources to lessen short-term exposure and drive long-term liquidity. With the utility of easy access to vital information and quick decision making through a convenient platform like Axiom CFOs can enhance their self-reliance in any organisation and opt for further innovation and trials.

To find out more about how Axiom  can help you become more financially agile, then please call Axiom EPM  today on +44 1932 548 465 or email us at

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