Agility, adaptability to be an important key for CFOs
Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan with delegates during the Annual ICAP CFO conference in Dubai.
Agility and adaptability are going to be an important key for chief financial officers (CFOs) in the coming years, as they work on adding value to businesses, experts at the 2016 Annual Middle East CFO Conference noted.
Organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Pakistan and it's UAE Chapter, the event brought together leading finance executives, industry experts and global thought leaders to discuss the current pertinent issues facing the profession. The focus of this year's conference was on embracing disruptions and the evolving role of a CFO.
"The main point highlighted today is that the role of a chief financial officer has evolved in recent years. A CFO today has to be very close to the business; he needs to work very closely with the chief executive officer of the organisation and work on several key issues and trends that are affecting the business. The CFO has to be aware about almost all the matters relating to the company today so that he can help the business become more sustainable," said Nadeem Yousuf Adil, president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan (ICAP) "The challenge that we had in mind, when we started these conferences, was to prepare our CFOs to take on the different roles that they would have to be playing in today's working environment. We have come a long way in making CFOs aware of the challenges that they will be facing in their ever evolving role today," he said.
Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, in his keynote address, said that chartered accountants in the region share with their colleagues around the world a professional standard that compels them to achieve excellence and professional competence, add value to businesses, safeguard public interests, all the while recognising the need for globalisation.
"We have little choice but to embrace disruptions today," he said. "We must understand the disruption and create working strategies for it. Good governments have to be accountable to society. We must earn the trust and confidence of society by governing them in a fair and honest manner. Accountants must practice their profession with the highest international standards. Also, this is an excellent opportunity for us to celebrate the strong relations between the UAE and Pakistan."
Rachel Grimes, deputy president of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) said that accountants were invaluable to any economy due to their strong code of ethics when practicing their profession
"We are living in a wold where the capital structures are changing," said Asher Noor, group CFO and CIO of AlTouq Group Saudi Arabia. "The world of finance is going to be completely different five years from now, and so will the role of a CFO. Disruption used to happen on a generational basis; today it can happen on a quarterly basis. This is all thanks to the evolution of breakthrough technologies. Technology has been a great enabler, and will continue to be so in the coming years."