As many companies transition to cloud-based computing to handle both business operations and internal communication activities, CFOs are learning that they have to adapt to these changes and, in some cases, adopt new roles. Cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) suites are especially useful for today’s CFO since they allow for fast data consolidation and reporting. Since SaaS simplifies many activities and provides real-time data, CFOs can make important revenue-generating business decisions and complete financial forecasts with a high degree of accuracy. Here’s a closer look at the rise of SaaS and how this is changing the roles of CFOs:

Streamlining Data Reporting Processes

CFOs now have more easy access to data and business information than ever before. Instead of requesting reports and data from different departments, the CFO can log in to a dashboard and view information in real-time through SaaS services. This can reduce the need for crashing through thousands of pages, or having to send continuous email communications between departments. It also helps the CFO stay up-to-date on both internal and external activities. Having easy access to a dashboard of activities and being able to generate all types of financial reports in a few clicks can make it easier for a CFO to review operations, sales, and other departmental reports and information at their leisure.

Efficient Cost Management Review

CFOs are often tasked with analyzing and managing costs. This may entail coordinating meetings with multiple departments to review budgets and expense reports regularly. Using cloud-based platforms can help the CFO review financial activities across all departments in real-time and make key decisions when they are needed. Departments can simply upload reports, such as expense reports, monthly budget analyses, performance reports, and other key documents to a main hub that is accessible by all executives.

Streamlining Portfolio Management Analysis

Many CFOs are responsible for monitoring the financial firm’s portfolio companies. Having access to performance metrics and other key data in a centric dashboard can make it easier to review company performance of individual companies or clients, retrieve contact information, and identify any strengths and weaknesses that may need to be addressed. Using a cloud-based program means the CFO will be able to review monthly reports and cross-reference other departmental reports, such as top performers and details about potential clients, in order to make important decisions.

Optimizing Accounting and Tax Reporting Processes

The CFO must make sure all financial activities comply with accounting rules and may also be involved with auditing various internal processes. Using a cloud-based software program can help with these tasks and optimize all accounting-related and tax reporting processes. This can improve productivity so the CFO has more time to dedicate to other activities.

Faster Decision Making

When it’s time to make pivotal decisions for the company, from managing capital costs to executing a financial strategy, the CFO needs to use current and accurate data. They may need certain types of information at the last minute which can be impossible to locate in a company’s intranet or from the mass of e-mail distributions, or when certain documents are housed in a department’s folders and are password-protected. Using an ERP suite eliminates a lot of the searching and retrieval activities of reports, spreadsheets, and other company data, which means the CFO can gather information he or she needs quickly to thereby make timely decisions.


The rise of SaaS in the business world and the rapid adaptation of cloud-based ERP suites are changing the roles of today’s CFO. From streamlining data reporting to optimizing accounting processes, CFOs can enjoy numerous benefits from working with a cloud-based system. Security of these systems are obviously of critical importance, but those who acquire the skills and knowledge to navigate a SaaS dashboard and learn how to use all the tools available within an ERP suite can simplify many daily and monthly activities that help them make more informed decisions.

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