Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Keep Pace with Tech Changes

Academic journal article Journal of Accountancy

Keep Pace with Tech Changes

Article excerpt

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Rapid changes in technology are among the biggest sources of stress for corporate accounting teams, according to a recent survey. Here are seven tips for how CFOs can mitigate risks and maximize rewards.

Understand the scope of the challenge. Technology is the capstone for virtually everything todays CFOs are responsible for overseeing, according to Paul McDonald, senior executive director for staffing firm Robert Half. Financial teams rely on technology to facilitate strong internal control objectives that meet regulatory requirements and compliance mandates.

Hire finance staff with strong technology knowledge. "All of the people need to have IT skills of various levels: from Excel macros to Microsoft Dynamics implementation," McDonald said. The other technologies many financial teams need to know include enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, data-mining tools including Microsoft Access, business intelligence software such as IBM Cognos and Hyperion, and QuickBooks.

Interact with in-house IT staff and/or outside consultants who are trusted technology experts. CFOs must understand what technologies really do--how the technology affects the finance function and the business overall, McDonald said. CFOs also need to learn about other technologies so they know what potential options are. In addition, CFOs should connect strongly with internal IT staff and/or outside subject matter experts to continually evaluate technology-related risks, which can change rapidly. "Don't just be the one who signs the checks," McDonald said.

Subscribe to RSS feeds with specific technologies as keywords. This is particularly effective with industry-specific software, said James C. …

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