CFO facing digital transformation

CFO facing digital transformation

It’s no news to anyone that the digital transition and the rise of new technologies have had an impact on all sectors, bringing with them profound transformations, new challenges and new opportunities for every company. Constantly evolving, these changes continue to disrupt professional sectors and force players to adapt. 

In this article, we look at the impact of these changes on CFOs, firstly by examining why they are the leaders of corporate change management, then by looking at how these changes directly impact their day-to-day work and their role, and finally at the steps they are taking to make them successful. 

Table of Contents

CFOs : the driving force behind corporate change management

The CFO at the heart of the equation

The CFO’s in-depth knowledge of both the company’s strategic challenges and its management flows makes him or her one of the best placed people to lead the company’s digital transformation. Just as when it comes to customer interfaces or new digital products and services, the marketing and sales department are quickly called upon, when it comes to implementing new internal processes, the CFO is always at the heart of the discussion. 

In fact, according to a PWC study, 55% of CFOs believe that tomorrow’s CFO will be the leader of the company’s digital transformation. 

Their predictive skills, coupled with a verification of strategic alignment, enable them to define the achievability and, above all, the relevance of a project. Their central role in the company puts them in a unique position to ensure that projects are properly implemented, and procedures respected. 

Finally, it is often the CFO , together with the IT Department, who is responsible for risk analysis, cost evaluation, allocating the budget for initial investment, and even measuring the performance of chosen solutions. 

CFO and CIO an alliance built to last

As many will tell you, lasting alliances begin with shared objectives. This is the case for CFOs and CIOs, both of whom are aiming for greater agility within their companies. Optimizing the use of data, securing processes and defining the performance indicators to be measured are all shared tasks that strengthen the relationship between CFOs and CIOs. 

The second ingredient for a successful alliance is complementarity. The CFO’s visibility and cross-functional position, as well as his or her strategic knowledge, complement the CIO’s technological knowledge and shared appetite for innovation, giving them both the ability to develop scenarios for the various digital hypotheses being considered. It’s a mutual contribution that ensures the strength of this partnership. Already in 2021, 92% of CFOs stated in a Dimensional Research survey that they were convinced that the quality of their relationship with the CIO was essential to their company’s success. 

Finally, as with any long-term relationship, that between CFOs and CIOs is strengthened by the challenges they face jointly. They share many concerns, which they address together. Protecting against the risks of hacking, meeting deadlines and compliance, and avoiding delays in implementing IT projects are just some of the precautions they take in cooperation. 

To maximize the profitability of a technology project while limiting the risks, the CFO-CIO pair is the winning duo, the perfect alliance. 


The digital transition in the daily life of CFOs

Exploiting data

Data management is playing an increasingly important role in the day-to-day work of CFOs. The new challenges linked to data management are shaped by the rise of technology and constant digital evolution. Successfully completing the digital transition is important, not only for the overall evolution of their company, but also for the enhancement of their day-to-day tasks. 

Advanced analytics, made possible by new technological tools, enable companies, for example, to make projections and formulate business and financial hypotheses about the future. Data collection automation tools make it possible to process large volumes of data quickly and easily. Finally, most of these digital solutions also include traceability modules, enabling CFOs to monitor their KPIs (key performance indicators) in near real time. 

Productivity gains

The same applies to more specific business solutions, such as tools for automating accounting entries, justification and reconciliation. All these technological tools save precious time, freeing teams from repetitive, low-value-added tasks. 

These tools also provide support in the quest for accuracy, error detection and compliance. Predictive financial management is also facilitated, as fraud detection, cash management scenario modeling and risk management are automated and fast. All these benefits make CFOs’ day-to-day work easier, less stressful and, above all, more effective. 

Implementing new IT tools and processes also requires a high level of collaboration and communication between the various business units. In turn, these same tools facilitate collaboration between departments, offering cross-functional visibility, greater accessibility, data cross-referencing and project-based work. Finally, teams are increasingly efficient and interconnected. 


The adoption of new IT tools therefore has a major impact on CFOs’ day-to-day work. This transition brings  many challenges. But it also brings CFOs considerable productivity gains and maximized use of data. 

How are CFOs making digital transformation a succes?

Respecting a clear process and the key steps of digital transformation

CFOs, in collaboration with their CIOs, are often the driving force behind a company’s digital transformation. To bring it to fruition, they follow a roadmap made up of several stages, valid both at a general level for company-wide digital transformation or large-scale technology projects, and at a specific level for a particular tool. Among the most commonly followed steps we can list the following: 

  • Verifying strategic alignment; with the company’s short-, medium- and long-term goals 
  • Allocating resources and budgets 
  • Studying risks: analyzing and preventing them 
  • Measuring performance upstream: current performance for benchmarking purposes, as well as expected and potential performance for setting goals. 
  • Communicating with all company players involved 
  • Selecting solutions: technology watch, supplier research, solutions comparisons 
  • Implementing solutions and leading change: informing, raising awareness, educating, but above all training and guiding teams 
  • Assessing investments  

Choosing automatisation

Automating the most manual and repetitive tasks is one of the main benefits of digital transformation. It’s also probably the step that seems most natural and obvious. Indeed, when we look at the figures, the observation is alarming: a 20-strong finance team loses the equivalent of 1,920 working hours every year, in manual tasks alone. ( 

Similarly, according to a McKinsey Research study, 60% of financial activities could be either totally or largely automated using solutions already on the market. 

As mentioned above, the CFO plays a key role in the change process, and directly benefits from the advantages of a digital transition in his or her daily activities. In the same McKinsey study, we learn that general accounting operations, cash disbursements, revenue management, financial controls and reporting are among the most automatable tasks. . 

Not neglecting training

Change management also involves team training and mentoring. To implement a new tool effectively and draw maximum benefit from it, teams need to be informed and trained. They also need to be educated to understand what strategic objective the tool will contribute to, and how it will help them improve performance. 

Preferring Cloud

When choosing digital transformation solutions, it’s important to bear in mind that agile tools are by definition more durable, scalable and productive. A Cloud approach, for example, makes it easier to adapt to business activity and new processes.  

At a time when new innovations are arriving ever faster, opting for the Cloud also means choosing continuous innovation. Updates, new versions or functionalities, data archiving, history – all these are made more easily accessible with the Cloud. 


Thanks to their central position in the company, CFOs are naturally led to drive digital transformation. For this to be effective, however, it requires close collaboration and a strong partnership with CIOs. 

For the CFO, the direct benefits of adopting new technologies include optimized use of data and a tenfold increase in productivity. The automation of manual and repetitive tasks is the easiest to automate. 

To drive change effectively, the choice of tools is crucial. In addition to ensuring that they are adapted to one’s company activity, one also needs to analyze risks and costs, define performance indicators and communicate with the organization. Favoring Cloud solutions for greater sustainability and flexibility. Finally, team training and support must be a priority. 

XREC is part of your digital transformation and automates your reconciliations

It’s possible to automate manual and repetitive reconciliation tasks with a Cloud solution! XREC performs all types of reconciliations quickly and easily, and is capable of handling large volumes of data. A truly collaborative tool that gives finance departments greater access and visibility, by offering real cross-functionality and centralized data. 

Training is not neglected either, as the Calixys team supports its users during implementation to ensure that it is smooth, rapid and tailored to your needs. 

Powerful and reliable, the XREC solution enables efficient financial control, saving 80% of reconciliation time. 


Find out more about the solution here and our support services here

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