Finance Innovation and Excellence Part III

This four part series covers the 8 key themes at the 4th annual Finance Innovation and Excellence Summit (FInEx Summit). The Summit tackled eight of today’s most pressing challenges facing Chief Financial Officers and other accounting, finance and treasury leaders. The expert speakers on each panel are global leaders in their field who deliver great messages tailored to the worldwide CFO community.

Part III covers Building a World Class CFO Operation and ESG Challenges

Building a World Class CFO Operation


The panel begins by emphasizing the importance of the diagnostic phase in a finance transformation journey. They highlight the need for assessing current systems and processes through interviews and surveys to identify areas of improvement. Vineet, an expert in finance transformation, encourages CFOs to start with this phase to understand their organization’s maturity level.

The panel delves into the importance of automation and improving manual processes in the finance function. They suggest leveraging financial close management tools for task management, re-sequencing activities to distribute workload effectively, and revamping deliverables to add value for stakeholders. The utilization of the latest technologies, such as AI, is also highlighted for financial forecasting and analysis.

Dr. Charas discusses building a world-class CFO organization from a talent perspective. She emphasizes the five transitions that CFOs are making, including moving from a historical focus to a future focus and from cost-conscious to value-creating. She advocates for measuring performance in HR against business goals and using financial metrics related to human capital to evaluate efficiency and effectiveness.

Glenn addresses the selection of software for the finance tech stack and data management. He advises against blindly choosing software based on features but instead suggests assessing existing processes and identifying pain points before seeking solutions. He cautions against implementing software without understanding the underlying issues and recommends seeking expertise for effective transformation.

Overall, this panel provides valuable insights into creating a world-class CFO organization by focusing on talent management, leveraging automation, incorporating technology, and aligning HR performance with business goals.

“The CFO function is really evolving into something that’s far more strategic…CFOs need to know a lot more about their business than just the financial side of it…CFOs are asking to be more front-facing…the CFO has to communicate and collaborate more with other departments…the CFO can make better decisions about how to allocate limited resources in the organization.”

— Dr. Solange Charas

Here is the link to full video presentation, Building a World Class CFO Operation

ESG Challenges

In this FinEx Summit panel titled “ESG Challenges,” host Russell Yeomans mans, a Partner with AARO Middle East engages with guests Bernie Smith, Managing Director at Made to Measure KPIs; Steele Hemmerich, President of Interfield Software Solutions; and Carl Chan, CFA, FRM, a Director at Accuracy, to explore crucial aspects of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives. The discussion revolves around the integration of ESG into strategic planning, the importance of meaningful KPIs, and the role of data analytics in driving sustainable outcomes.

Throughout the conversation, the panelists emphasize the significance of developing a clear and focused ESG strategy. They stress the need for organizations to establish relevant and measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) aligned with their overarching goals. This hierarchical approach helps break down complex objectives into actionable metrics.

The incorporation of ESG considerations presents challenges within industries such as mining and energy. Steele highlights the importance of data management and standardization to showcase positive environmental and social impacts. Developing an ESG process that collects and consolidates data, provides companies with a platform to effectively manage and report on their sustainability initiatives.

The panelists also discuss the financial implications of ESG initiatives. Bernie, an expert on KPIs, emphasizes the need to prioritize relevant KPIs to avoid overwhelming an organization and to show measurable progress. He also advocate for the integration of ESG metrics into financial reporting, as ESG performance increasingly impacts a company’s ability to secure financing. In some cases regulatory bodies are mandating parts of ESG reporting.

Furthermore, the speakers assert the role of data analytics in making better investment decisions. By analyzing market trends, green product performance, and risk profiles, organizations can construct sustainable investment portfolios. Data analytics models can link ESG indicators and KPIs to investment outcomes and project future performance.

Overall, the panel provides valuable insights into navigating ESG challenges, establishing meaningful KPIs, and leveraging data analytics to drive sustainable and profitable outcomes.

“The key to finding good ESG KPIs is the same as the key to finding good KPIs. Full stop. We need to build a bridge from a high level strategy down to what we’re going to measure.”

— Bernie Smith

In “Building a World Class CFO Operation,” Steve is joined by speakers Dr. Solange Charas, Founder of HCMoneyball; Glenn Hopper, Director | CFO at Eventus Advisory Group, LLC; and Vineet Jain, Director, Finance Transformation at Genpact act, to discuss the various aspects and strategies for creating a sustainable and high-performing CFO organization.

Here is the link to full video presentation, ESG Challenges

Part IV of our series will be available November 10th, Finance Innovation and Excellence Part IV

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