The Next CFO: The role of the CFO in the new technology era

The Next CFO: Vai trò của CFO trong kỷ nguyên công nghệ mới

For Mr. Rahn Wood, it is important to have a sense of orientation for self-development from an early age. Constantly learning, accumulating knowledge, willing to contribute to strategic initiatives whenever the opportunity arises is what has made a great impact on his career journey.

The first digital CFO with the appearance of Mr. Rahn Wood - an expert in banking and finance with a remarkable career journey will provide a perspective on the role of CFOs in the new technology era.

The Next CFO: Vai trò của CFO trong kỷ nguyên công nghệ mới

“Since starting work in Vietnam in 2009, many businesses have made great improvements and banks have also started participating in the stock market, from which we can say that the role of the Director Finance (CFO) is bigger than ever. On the other hand, today many advanced technologies are constantly being released, especially the emergence of AI and Blockchain, making the role of a Digital CFO even more important in streamlining the process and digitizing financial data. become more transparent.”

The Next CFO: Vai trò của CFO trong kỷ nguyên công nghệ mới

The Next CFO: Journey from a Financial Planning Specialist to the position of Senior Executive Director of major banks in the world

Can you share highlights of your career?

I was fortunate to start my career in the early stages of the “Computerization” of manual processes and the rise of the information management age. Actually, the first department I worked in at ANZ was the Financial Planning department of the Commercial Banking Division and I learned a lot about how to extract data to analyze important information. With the development of data analysis software, I am able to analyze more complex product and price patterns.

I am always grateful to ANZ and cherish my time working at ANZ when I have the opportunity to develop my experience at the bank through periodically rotating positions from planning, trade credit, analysis specialist. savings and electronic banking.

After that, I moved to the product management department, card issuance and especially when launching the first Electronic Bank in Australia in 1995. More than what people say about the Internet, Mobile Banking - banking services Mobile will become an indispensable and especially widespread part of the country with BPay (national payment system). Finally, traditional banking channels gradually focus more on investing in multi-channel customer interaction.

The next step in my career, I decided to look for job opportunities abroad and thank HSBC for allowing me to work in retail banking and digital banking in many markets. Important: Australia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Singapore and Hong Kong. In these places, I have learned a lot about how cultural diversity and different stages of economic development impact and change in some way financial products/services in the future.

What opportunities and challenges have had the most important influence on your career?

As shared, being aware of self-direction from an early age has helped me to have the right direction. In order to cultivate and develop myself, I am constantly looking to develop my technical and business knowledge of different areas of banking. Whenever there is a strategic initiative or an opportunity to expand my knowledge, I am always ready to participate

The biggest challenge in my career is probably the change in corporate development strategy. For example, if a bank shifts from focusing on growth to focusing on Compliance (i.e. reducing scale), at certain times, this will have a significant impact on the role of the bank. me or for the whole business.

The outbreak of the Covid pandemic is also a big challenge for me when I assume the position of CEO of the largest Taxi group in Vietnam With more than 20,000 employees and a certain position in the transport sector of Vietnam. Looking back, it was an amazing and memorable leadership experience for me in such an uncertain situation.

The Next CFO: Vai trò của CFO trong kỷ nguyên công nghệ mới

The Next CFO: Vai trò của CFO trong kỷ nguyên công nghệ mới

Experience, technical and financial skills, communication and negotiation skills are essential

Is there any difference between the CFO role in Mongolia/Australia and the CFO role in Vietnam?

The role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has evolved over the course of my tenure. From a position equivalent to a Chief Accountant (payment and budget control) to an Investment Director role that focuses more on three balanced metrics, effective capital allocation and strategy development. In a mature market like Australia, expectations for CFOs are clearly high and require an experienced, articulate professional with both technical finance skills and the ability to communicate with all stakeholders.

Since my experience in Vietnam in 2009, many businesses have made great improvements and banks have also begun to participate in the stock market, from which we can see that the role of the Director of The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) has become bigger than ever. Maybe the underdeveloped factor is environmental, social and governance (ESG) but I think it will definitely get more focus in the medium term.

Although Mongolia has a globalized economy, the role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) here is at an early stage of development compared to Vietnam However there is one exception to this position. There is a relatively high level of international investment in the mining industry.

In the technology era with many products such as Chat GPT, how do you balance work and keep up to date with changes in technology and apply it to finance?

I am an avid reader of paper and electronic books. I regularly get up at 05:00 a.m. to research the technologies that interest me as well as follow up, check emails and take notes, complete attachments for further research.

I always take advantage of all my time outside of work to meet with business leaders and government representatives to learn about technology trends like AI or Analytics that are becoming unlimited and shared across many industry groups. different.

The Next CFO: Vai trò của CFO trong kỷ nguyên công nghệ mới

The Next CFO: Vai trò của CFO trong kỷ nguyên công nghệ mới

CFO's role: Make more effective business decisions

Could you share one of the financial projects that had a strong impact on your business? What do you think about the importance of Technology for Finance?

I believe that the Digital Transformation projects I have worked on have had the greatest financial impact throughout my career: both on sales (improved revenue through sales productivity); profitability (service productivity and channel migration) and customer value (optimized solutions and just-in-time applications).

All of these innovations have been enabled through data-driven analytics, tools like CRM, and processes that come from technology. Especially in the banking sector, compliance and risk control are always emphasized, and this must be strictly managed for sustainable profit growth.

Additionally, robotic process automation (RPA) for the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role is critical. With large volumes of financial data, RPA can automate many accounting and financial processes, helping to reduce dependence on employees and limit human errors. This helps CFOs save time and increase predictability in financial analysis, helping to make more effective business decisions.

In addition, RPA also helps reduce operating costs and increase the safety and accuracy of financial data. Therefore, the use of RPA will help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the CFO's work.

What advice would you give to your colleagues in Vietnam in strengthening the financial system in enterprises?

I do not dare to give advice to CFOs, but I will encourage them to have a comprehensive view of business: from strategy, process, technology, human resources, customer growth strategy, ESG (Economy). – Environment – Management) and risk management for sustainable development.

The CFO is in a privileged position to understand leadership positions through the stages to create influence on internal and external stakeholders. The financial services industry is an important sector for promoting economic development and private wealth, so the role of the CFO is even more important.

Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts!

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