Will AI Turn CFOs Into CVOs?

If corporate financial officers feel the ground shifting below them these days, there’s a good reason for that.

Exhibit “A” is how artificial intelligence is playing a big role in morphing the chief financial officer role into a chief value officer role.

“Should CFOs begin rebranding themselves as CVOs?” asks LinkedIn in a recent research newsletter. “With new technologies, like AI and machine learning, disrupting everyday business practices, corporations are forced to adapt and overcome a changing environment.”

“As general business processes and standards adjust, the CFO position must also conform to today’s demands,” the note states. “That’s why we are seeing a shift from traditional CFO roles to CVO duties.”

It’s not just the business analysts at LinkedIn.

“The role of the Chief Financial Officer is evolving beyond finance and the top finance head of companies have a significant role to play in driving value-based business decisions and non-financial reporting,” according to a report by ACCA-BDO.

AI’s Big Role in the CFO/SVO Shift

A big driver of the chief value officer shift is AI, which could provide CFOs with a big boost in meeting the expanding job roles that have shifted the CFO role into different spheres, like data management and digital growth leadership.

It’s all about “bringing value to the business itself,” said Daren Campbell, a tax and technology transformation leader at Ernst & Young, in comments to CFO Dive.

By leveraging the potential benefits of generative AI, CFOs will soon be able (if some aren’t already) to “fully complete their ongoing transformation into strategic leaders for the business — turning them into “chief value officers” who are focused on strategic or value-added activities for the company rather than data aggregation or compliance activities, Campbell noted.

For a good example, Campbell cites a CFO examining the “do’s and don’ts” of a tax and accounting team overview.

“You want to drill down to the basics . . . the core activities of those tax and accounting functions,” he says. “That means looking at a transaction and determining what category or classification that goes into.”

That’s where the value proposition – and AI – comes into the picture. “Once you know the classification, then the rules behind the calculation are often relatively automatic,” Campbell notes.

Artificial intelligence can move a CFO/CVO in the right direction by expanding the scope of C-suite management oversight. In the tax and accounting scenario, for instance, CFOs can move past the “specific subset of problems” and toward “accessible” AI solutions with the help of large language models. “AI is both more accessible and, crucially, easier to use for non-technologists, Campbell told CFO Dive.

As more and more companies seek to merge the finance and technology realms for more robust management and oversight outcomes, expect to hear a lot more about the equal emergence of the CFO and CVO roles.

With a heavy dose of AI applications driving that process.

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