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CFO to the Rescue for NFPs

The Not-for-profit sector (NFP)is facing a tidal wave of trouble. Heavy cuts to Government funding, due to poor economic performance and changing funding culture, will force the NFP sector to adapt to new business models to compensate. On top of that, many NFP organisations are Industry Associations, meaning their secondary sources of funding are corporate or individual industry members. This second source of income is also at risk.

The economy is slow, and individuals are trying to save money in light of low wage growth. At the same time, businesses performance is stagnant, meaning their event sponsorships decrease significantly.

Boards of directors are well aware of this economic shift, pressuring executives and staff to find a way to survive. However, there is no easy solution. At Tailored Accounts, we strongly believe that your Chief Financial Officer (CFO)is central to saving your organisation from shut-down.

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The important role of CFOs in Not-For-Profit Associations

Recent changes in government policy have resulted in substantial impacts on the Not-For-Profit (NFP) association sector. Government grants to NFP associations are expected to decline, contributing to the resourcing pressures for many NFP associations in Australia. Financial resources from memberships, donations, and government grants were core funds used to sustain NFP associations for many years. However, the concern in the sector now would be their survival under the increasing budget constraints. 

The recent changes in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) removed many existing grants paid directly to the NFP association sector. According to market research conducted by BDO in 2016, most associations were not ready for the changes in the new scheme even after the NDIS was rolled out. The complexity of the changes required more effective change management. Typical associations in the healthcare and community well-being industry needed significant training and transitional support. 

A significant strategy for NFP associations to effectively adapt to change is the development of new leadership. It should begin with Board reforms to create an “A-team”, who is willing to  lead the association through changes. In order to achieve this changing leadership need, the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is crucial. CFOs can assist their CEOs and Board members with strategic decisions on budget, financial health analysis and estimation. 

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Tomorrow’s CFOs –Transformational Leadership in the C-Suite

Chien Dang

The growing importance of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) roles due to globalisation and business complexity has led to the need of increased expectation for CFOs to become business strategists. Equipped by technology advancement, the role of a CFO is now transforming.  

Conventionally, CFOs are required to direct the company accounting, ensure the financial information accuracy, and monitor the financial health of the company. However, the future candidates for CFO positions might experience a change in their conventional roles. Future CFOs will be expected to not only good at interpreting the numbers but also developing and supporting their companies’ business strategies. The CFO will become more progressive to act as the CEO’s right hand man, especially when it comes to strategic decision making. 

The change in CFO role could not happen without the impact of technology. Innovative technology are disrupting and challenging the conventional definition of being a CFO. Technology is indeed the significant factor that is transforming the role of the CFOs.

Image result for big data

Innovative technology enables cloud accounting to flourish. Systems like XERO provide CFOs access to real time data and insights of their companies’ performances. With advanced machine learning, XERO could learn to complete multiple manual tasks which are currently performed by human. The automation feature of XERO allows CFOs to have more time and resource for strategy analysis, thus results in a better decision making. 

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