A year of evolution: CFOs on 2021

A year of evolution: CFOs on 2021

COVID-19 has dominated this year’s headlines and affected lives and livelihoods around the world. It is changing the work of accounting and finance professionals and the organisations they serve in ways that will only be fully understood years from now.

As organisations head to the end of this year, how can they rebuild revenue streams in 2021? Should budgeting and forecasting approaches change? What are lessons from this year that can help organisations begin next year on steady footing? These are questions we sought to answer as we spoke to finance leaders from London to Melbourne.

We have put together these insights in a Q&A format featuring finance thought leaders in consumer goods and retail, banking, oil and gas, manufacturing, logistics, nonprofit, and professional services sectors. These interviews will be published each week until the end of December.

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Logistics finance leader: COVID-19 expedited our digital transformation
16 November 2020
Amy Lam, FCMA, CGMA, finance director at Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited, shares customers’ surprisingly positive response of finance’s move to e-invoicing and her 2021 outlook for the cargo terminal operator’s business.

Leading through COVID-19 upheaval in Nigeria
18 November 2020
Oluseyi Olanrewaju, FCMA, CGMA, the country CFO of Mixta Africa, a real estate development company headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, explains how the pandemic is forcing the profession to be more flexible and to develop evergreen accounting strategies.

Petroleum CFO: The pandemic is an impetus for change
23 November 2020
Haifa al-Khaifi, FCMA, CGMA, the CFO at Oman’s largest oil and gas producer, speaks on cost reduction strategies and how she is using this crisis to build a finance team of the future.

Movember CFO: Adapting planning, budgeting cycles to keep the mission alive
25 November 2020
Virginie Lafougere, ACMA, CGMA, CPA (Australia), CFO at Movember, shares how her team adjusted its budgeting approach and tightened spending to sustain its cause to improve men’s health globally.

Technology finance leader: COVID-19 makes the case for upskilling
30 November 2020
Richard Knight, FCMA, CGMA, the CFO of Argility Technology Group, a software provider based in Johannesburg, South Africa, focuses on communication and on keeping pace with technology.

Energy services finance leader: We had to manage cash in a crisis
4 December 2020
Japheth Jev, ACMA, CGMA, the CFO at Triumph Power and Gas Systems Limited, an energy servicing company based in Lagos, Nigeria, shares the strategies and tools he used to lead his finance team through the worst of the COVID-19 crisis.

Consumer goods CFO: Focused on growth and capturing Indian market
7 December 2020
Srinivas Phatak, finance chief at Hindustan Unilever Limited, shares his insights for managing present challenges posed by the pandemic and his focus on growth in 2021.

Indonesian auto parts maker goes back to basics for 2021 recovery
9 December 2020
Lioe Cu Ling, who heads up finance at Indonesia’s leading automotive parts manufacturer and distributor, shares how unity between teams helped the company manage its initial crisis period and her plans to recoup losses in 2021.

Consumer goods finance leader: Safety first during pandemic
11 December 2020
By emphasising psychological safety, Mikateko Tshetshe, FCMA, CGMA, vice-president, Finance Africa at Unilever, is nurturing true ‘diversity of thought’ within the finance function.

Pandemic increased the urgency to prepare business for growth
14 December 2020
Dennis Johnson, CPA, the CFO of Qlik, talks about the limitations the pandemic imposed on the company’s global sales force at a time when demand for data analytics software is rising.

Banking CFO: Collaboration enabled teams to meet system challenges
15 December 2020
Syed Ahmad Taufik Albar, group CFO at RHB Bank, shares how the bank with a history of more than 100 years leveraged its agile way of working and collaborated across teams to manage the financial upheavals the pandemic caused.

Driving Haier’s ecosystem strategy in a post-COVID-19 era
17 December 2020
Shao Xinzhi, CFO and vice-president of the home appliance behemoth Haier Group, speaks on her COVID-19 lessons and the rendanheyi management model that undergirds the company’s ambitions.

How tech investment is leading a UK food business beyond COVID-19
6 January 2021
Stephan Burow, ACMA, CGMA, finance vice-president at Gousto, describes how the business was able to ‘pivot into advanced forecasting’ and use rich data to understand customer behaviour.

How B&Q is planning beyond the 2020 retail rollercoaster
15 January 2021
Geoff Bryant, the finance director at UK and Ireland retailer B&Q, explains how frequent forecasting, scenario modelling, and contingencies are part of 2021 planning.

The pandemic taught a century-old multinational a few new tricks
26 January 2021
Hanesbrands' Scott Lewis, CPA, interim CFO and chief accounting officer, and Jonathan Aves, vice-president for global transaction services, explain how the US apparel maker found ways to keep the business going amid disrupted sales and shutdowns.