Challenges For CFO In 2023: Navigating Economic Uncertainty

2 mins read

16 February 2023

  • Held on 16 February 2023, this executive roundtable had discussions on CFOs top priorities in the current economic climate, the expectations for the finance teams and the key areas to overcome these challenges. 
  • The executive roundtable saw notable attendees from Scoular, Secretlab, EM Services, Neste Asia Pacific and more. 

DigitalCFO Asia and LucaNet partnered to host this roundtable that was dedicated to sharing about the business environment of today and how beneficial automating and digitalising is in combating the top challenges CFOs are facing. Finance teams that are using antiquated manual procedures are simply not operating efficiently and changes must be made in order to survive the current climate.

The attendees for the roundtable included finance professionals (CFOs, Finance Directors, Head of Finance) from various industries such as engineering, supply chain, manufacturing, healthcare and more. The event saw notable attendees from Scoular, Secretlab, EM Services, Neste Asia Pacific etc.

The event kickstarted with a panel discussion that focused heavily on the key things that are necessary to overcome business challenges and uncertainties. First and foremost, data and insights need to be worked on. Sarath Kolachana, Manager, Accounting Advisory Services pointed out that there needs to be incremental improvements to data visibility, data management, budgeting and scenario-related forecasting. 

Shirley Hu, Finance & Accounting Leader further emphasized that when it comes to the business, everything needs to come quick, easy and immediate and the only way to do this is to automate and digitalise financial processes. Having conventional financial processes will only drill down the company’s ability in providing a single source of truth with the numbers and data that they have. Stakeholders of today are expecting real-time data analysis and support. Without the necessary resources and steps towards automation, there is simply no way companies can see an improvement in their scalability.

The roundtable also raised discussions on talent management and how employees want more insightful and challenging roles to provide value to the company. The problem with this is that organizations need to know how to efficiently redesign roles and provide necessary training so that they are able to feel fulfilled and be a value-add to the company. On that note, digital upskilling of the talent pool is one of the keys to upscaling a business.

 Key takeaways: 

  1. Financial Processes Must be Flexible – In the current market environment, businesses need to be able to easily access their capital to meet urgent needs that come from opportunities or crises. 

“Businesses need to be flexible especially in today’s market landscape,” says Denis Caes, Finance Director, APAC, Scoular.

  1. Fully Automated Processes Without Human Element Is Disastrous – It is important that finance leaders keep in mind the important role employees play in the finance team even after the processes have been automated. 

“People are necessary to drive transformation but once transformation happens, their jobs may be at risk which causes a dilemma. As we drive transformation in the company, we need to have a talent strategy in place as well so that we do not lose loyal employees,” shares Nicole Tan, Chief Financial Officer, Dornier MedTech America.

This is only the first of many events that are yet to come in 2023 and it was clear from today’s roundtable that everyone had a delightful discussion and definitely left the roundtable with a deeper understanding of the current economic landscape. DigitalCFO Asia will also be hosting the DigitalCFO Asia Indonesia Symposium 2023, on the 16th of March that will tackle more economic uncertainty challenges.

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