Chris Argent is a “Future of Finance” Thought Leader and Founder of Generation CFO which is one of the more active, ‘must-go-to’ peer groups for accountants and finance professionals on LinkedIn and has 66,000 members all over the world, which examines new trends in finance transformation, digital transformation, CFO role revolution and the growth of the modern strategic business partner. Chris has an impeccable résumé delivering on highly valuable Finance transformation projects for blue chips like Vodafone; BAT; Amazon; John Lewis to name a few.
Nowadays Chris is a highly rated independent Finance transformation consultant & speaker, although he started his Finance career at the bottom levels as an accountant in finance operations before leading teams and ascending to the Divisional CFO level.
Key Quotes From the Episode:
“[On the Future of Finance Agenda] Is it up to me to make that change? Is it really up to me to understand and enable that next step, I was saying if it’s not you, you’re not at the table and your relevance in the business becomes less.” [06:22]
“[Gen CFO survey results] Only 32% or people were really aware of the technologies that could enable fiancne in this area, and I’m talking about reporting, data visualisation, data analytics nothing radicaly like machine learning and R-script, so a lot got haven’t got it.” [08:09]
“We need to get much better at looking wider even looking outside the business for insight and for data in this new world.” [11:30]
“And because we have such little time and we put it in the difficult box it doesn’t get done so we need to get much better at that and that’s going to keep us relevant.” [11:59]
“[Best Advice] It poses an interesting theoretical question, it’s a bit like the driverless car, if I have a fiduciary duty as a CFO or FD to check the company is operating, if I only check the exceptions that my analytics are driving to save me lots of time then am I really in control of the company because it’s really on us to check the greens as well as the reds .” [21:25]
(Other resources and how to connect with Chris below).
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Key Points From the Episode:
- How and why Generation CFO has grown to 67,000 members
- Shares the two baby steps we can take to keep Finance relevant.
- Why we need to switch from a core Finance to a more Innovation pioneer one.
- Some practical steps Finance can begin to become more tech savvy and start adding more value with digital finance technologies.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
[02:13] – Introduction into how Chris found his way towards Finance Transformation.
[05:04] – What’s exciting him the most about finance at the moment.
[06:41] – What he’s really finding exciting at the moment about accounting & finance.
[07:39] – Shares the two baby steps we can take to keep Finance relevant.
[10:15] – Shares an example of why Finance need to be specific about making changes, rather than assuming small ones are best.
[10:07] – How and why Finance need to be better at looking wider.
[13:08] – The benefits of adopting an innovation pioneer mindset compared to a core finance one.
[15:28] – A scary example of how data scientists view traditional finance work.
[18:13] – The gap behind why many in Finance still view digital technologies a threat.
[20:13] – Some ideas on how to add value with insights.
[21:25] – Shares interesting thought on dangers of only looking at exceptions.
[23:42] – Lays down a practical one step challenge to help Finance remain more relevant.
[25:13] – Explains more about how the Generation CFO LinkedIn group grew to 67,000 members.
- Generation CFO (LinkedIn link)