CFO Dinner - Disruption in Finance

On December 19th we had our last official event of 2016. An exclusive CFO Dinner at Bien Soigné in Antwerp around the topic "Disruption in Finance". The great food, combined with a very strong moderator (Marc Coppens - CEO Yuki), verbally-strong participants and a mind-triggering topic, made this for me our CFO event of the year!

We had the pleasure to host some great companies/CFO's at the Dinner table: Cartamundi, Cashforce, Alpro, Konsensus LCD, Oracle, Amcor Flexibles, Partena, Yuki, M.C.. All very skilled, open minded and passionate participants.

Marc kicked off the session with following Question "Will a robot take your job?"About 35% of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the following 20 years, according to a study by researchers at Oxford University and Deloitte. Within our specific domain, FINANCE, some confronting results were shared: Finance Officers - likelihood of 97% to be "computerized"; CFO's - likelihood of 7% to be automated.

Following URL allows you to do the test yourself.

This triggered a whole discussion around the potential loss of Finance jobs in the future. As per testimonial and strong belief of Marc, accounting in SME's will be automated very rapidly. "Don't think it will not happen to you (or your company) - it is happening as we speak". One of our participants is already working today on the "reorganization of roles/tasks" across departments. Credit & Collections is part of the Sales Department in his company; a new innovative approach, generating even more sales. One of the Key succes factors is the fact that multiple tasks are automated but "exceptional decisions" are still made by people (who do have an emotional intelligence skill-set).

But are companies/CFO's really ready for this change of mindset, digitization & computerization? Helena referred to a survey from McKinsey "Are today's CFO's ready for tomorrow's demands on Finance?"

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I guess most people around the table acknowledged that the Finance department of the Future will be significantly impacted by automation/digitization but felt also that there would still be opportunities for the human intervention. Also commonly agreed upon was the statement "Start analyzing now PRO-actively before you need to RE-act and cut jobs" - Embrace the technical disruption in Finance.

The evening was concluded by assessing how well the expectations of the participants were met. Going from "Very inspiring", "Interesting debate", "Interactive & inspiring session with nice people" to "Fascinating experience" - For sure all minds have been triggered, my personal objective of the evening ;-)

For sure we will continue facilitating this kind of events in 2017! If you would like to stay informed, follow us on Social Media, visit our company webpage or let's have a cup of coffee together - meet in person.