In order to better serve our clients, we need to know what they are excited about and what keeps them up at night. We do this with surveys like our GIRA assessment, webinars and through events like our recent roundtable discussion held at the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong.
Over dinner and drinks, our chair, Niels Boudeling, Rabobank, CFO Asia, led the group in a lively discussion. CFOs and Finance leaders from organizations such as JP Morgan, HSBC and Society Generale shared their thoughts on the forward-looking role of the modern CFO, current roadblocks and playing the part of the ‘challenger.’
Below are some highlights from the discussion. You can access the full write up here.
On the role of the finance function:
Many of the attendees agreed that playing the role of the challenger and questioning business decisions was an important part of the finance function. However, some pointed out that value creation was an increasingly important role as well. One attendee stated, “we need to go far beyond the role of challenger to being proactive in bringing the ideas we implement as a company.”
On regulatory change:
The regulatory environment was clearly top of mind for attendees with one stating, “I don’t have enough fingers on my hands to list all the regulations with which we have to comply.” In addition to the discussion of technology to address regulations, some of the guests mentioned the challenge of communication and working across functions to tackle regulatory projects.
On finance quality data:
When thinking about the budget and effort surrounding data improvement projects, host Niels Boudeling stated, “you won’t be able to do it all at once because most companies aren’t going to spend the millions you need; you won’t get the business funding. But ask: what’s the business need that enables you to get that project rolling? Then you can build on it.”
We thank our chair, Niels Boudeling, and all the roundtable participants for a great evening and look forward to continuing the discussion at our future events.