Does the CFO need to be technical? What is their role in technologies like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) or BI (Business Intelligence)?

I would offer that a CFO is accountable for “accuracy and insight”. I am speaking for a Dir of IT perspective. If anyone disagrees, please speak up!!

I have not sat in the seat of a CFO. However, I have had the good fortune to sit next to a few good ones. Here are my observations in terms of technology:

  • They could articulate what they wanted from the ERP and BI systems.
  • They could teach me the concepts that drive good decisions.
  • They could help me write control reports that defended the system accuracy and insight.
  • They fought to make systems efficient and easily defend-able. This point is big. I have made a few CFO’s red-faced challenging their needs. It took me a while to understand their perspective.
  • They were very demanding of their own team regarding accuracy, and they quickly knew when things tipped out of balance.
  • They helped me visualize the data.

Let’s put it into perspective. Let’s say you have a $250M business. You have three webstores in each of the major continents. These stores funnel into two different ERP systems. You have a business intelligence (BI) layer on top of all three stores and both ERP systems. As a CFO, part of your responsibility is to interpret the activities that drive the financial model. You will influence what happens at each of the ERP systems. You will drive the presentation in the BI.

Essentially, they (the good ones) were very good teachers and modelers of the business domain. In my experience, the only way to accomplish the above is to be ‘technical’.

About Chuck Boecking: I am an ERP educator. I believe that open source ERP have achieved mainstream capabilities, and as a result, more companies can create greater efficiency across their organization. I started using the iDempiere code base in 2003. Back then, it was called Compiere. In 2006, I started my first multi-million dollar installation. Since then, ADempiere has helped me create great success with distribution and manufacturing companies all over the world. My vision of success is to find companies that can best use open source ERP to help them achieve a single, global instance that drives a discontinuous increase in profitability. I believe that organizations win when they own their technology.

If you have questions, comments or concerns, let me know. I definitely want your feedback.

You can contact me by phone using 512.850.6068.

My email is chuck@chuboe.com.

You can complete the form on this page.

Thank you for taking the time. I look forward to speaking with you.

Chuck Boecking



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