CFO Summit 2011
More than 180 top CFOs and financial executives across all major industry sectors converged on 24 May 2011 in Kuala Lumpur to exchange views, discuss key industry concerns and share best practices at a one day CFO Summit themed CFOs in the Transformational Age - Managing Risks and Rewards jointly organised by ACCA and ASLI.
CFOs were urged to abandon their comfort zones, be flexible and think out of the box in response to increased competition and complex challenges. 'The finance function used to be charged only with accounting, measuring the company's performance and delivering reports to senior management and shareholders. But that was before risk management and compliance became part of the daily business lexicon', said ACCA chief executive Helen Brand.
They were also encouraged to capitalise on IT-enabled and emerging technologies to manage risks and optimise results. 'CFOs are now leading businesses from the front', added Brand. 'They not only need a sound grasp of financial know-how vital for the success of their organisation, but must also fully consider the risks and rewards of new and emerging technologies and how these will support the future success of their organisation'.
The ability to manage risks and innovate effectively is particularly critical for CFOs operating in Malaysia, which is undergoing a dynamic transition to a high-income economy as envisioned by the New Economic Model, driven by the governments Economic Transformation Plan - ETP. Especially relevant to CFOs is chapter 12 of the ETP, which focuses on growing business support services, including accounting services.
'The growth of business services will be powered by a suite of different entry point projects and business opportunities', said Dato' Donald Lim Siang Chai, deputy minister of finance in his Opening Address. 'One of the business opportunities identified within the business services sector is the accounting sector. The growth of the accounting sector has traditionally been linked to the size of the overall economy and vice-versa'.
While various post-crisis scenarios are catalysing demand, it is also rewriting the roles played by accountants in business as companies seek innovative and value-added means to survive and thrive amidst a global business landscape that has changed irrevocably.
In tune with this zeitgeist, the one day high-level and highly informative summit featured expert insights and compelling case studies on various current issues affecting CFOs as they go through this transformational age.