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Reinventing the CFO
- How Financial Managers Can Transform Their Roles and Add Greater Value

Date: 20-22 July 2010
Venue: Shangri-la Hotel, Singapore

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Led by One of the World’s Greatest Management Thought-Leaders & Practitioners :

Jeremy Hope, MA, FCA

  • Co-founder of the Beyong Budgetting Round Table
  • Author of 4 books on performance management: Transforming the Bottom Line (1995), Competing in the Third Wave (1997), Beyond Budgetting (2003) and Reinventing the CFO (2006) – all published by the prestigious Harvard Business School Press
  • He has done consulting work with many organizations around the world including the World Bank (USA), Telekom Malaysia (Malaysia), Resorts World (Malaysia), Aljazeera (Qatar), CIBC (Canada), Scottish Enterprise (UK) and Transport for London (UK)
  • He has done workshops in over 40 countries around the world

Market trends and challenges and why you should attend

Chief Financial Officers are under greater pressure than ever before. While they aspire to be business partners, their departments have shrunk over the past ten years from around 3 percent to 1 percent of revenue—world-class organizations are around 0.6 percent— and their people are stretched to breaking point. This means that they continue to struggle with the basic accounting tasks. What’s even worse is that they cling onto industrial age management and measurement practices that typically focus on functions and activities rather than processes and cost incurred rather than value created.

Among the current and most pressing problems finance faces are these: Over two-thirds of their time is spent on transaction processing and month-end routines; there are simply too many journals, too many spreadsheets, too many errors, and too many disconnected systems. Budgeting takes too long, is too expensive, and adds too little value. In addition, there are too many irrelevant measures and reports, information flow is way too slow and forecasting and risk management are not core competencies. The result of all these failings is increasing levels of detail and complexity.

Despite this gloomy picture, there are many examples of CFOs who have made a real difference to the success of their organizations. These executives have built highly competent teams that satisfy the needs of their management colleagues in a consistent and uncomplicated way. While recognized as an integral member of the strategic management team, they maintain a strong, independent view and oversee effective internal controls and risk management systems. But, perhaps above all, they have time to spend with their staff and with important stakeholders including non-executive directors and investment analysts.

Enlightened CFOs have created a new vision based on two parallel initiatives: becoming lean and efficient and becoming a valued business partner. These two approaches have different goals, strategies, and roadmaps for change and require different skill-sets from their people.

One shining example is American Express. Finance and IT have worked together to deliver shared services with huge cost reductions, a streamlined planning process with an emphasis on driver-based rolling forecasts, and an investment optimization process that lets senior managers prioritize new investments on a monthly basis. The result is less gaming of resource requirements, more accountability for funds, and better alignment of measures and actions with strategy. They’ve built an organization that has improved to such an extent over recent years that it now has the highest price/earnings ratio in its industry sector.


"Today's CFO must be a change agent and catalyst for driving business growth within a strong controllership environment. This book helps define that vision with numerous best practices."
- Jim Parke, CFO, GE Capital

"Reinventing the CFO redefines the role of finance in the modern organization and will be beneficial for every CFO and finance manager. It is full of practical lessons that show how the finance operation can transform itself into a valued and trusted business partner by reducing detail and complexity and creating more time for analysis and performance insights."
- Gary Crittenden, CFO, American Express

"Radical decentralization and adaptive financial management have been the twin pillars supporting the remarkable success of Handelsbanken over the past 35 years. No one outside the bank has understood this better and in greater depth than Jeremy Hope as this book demonstrates. Reinventing the CFO shows how finance can really make a difference to long-term performance by liberating people from the tyranny of targets and top-down controls. Every CFO should read it."
- Lennart Francke, CFO, Svenska Handelsbanken

“As we push ahead with our reform effort to improve developmental effectiveness through better alignment of resources to strategic priorities and more explicit accountability for results, Reinventing the CFO offers an excellent guide and companion for the journey. Much of our change agenda incorporates Jeremy Hope's observations, not least around simplification, measurement and adaptive management”
- John Wilton, CFO, World Bank

“This course has opened our eyes to what Finance best practices really look like and how far we have to go to meet them”
- Delegate from UK

“Thanks for providing us with so many new ideas for transforming the finance function. We are now determined to put these ideas into practice”
- Delegate from Dubai

“This course is full of insights and case examples and has given us many ideas for improvement”
- Delegate from Malaysia