By Lianne Gatti, Country Manager, Konsolidator
Facing the ongoing cost of living crisis, Deliveroo is working on adapting to this new reality, taking on a new CFO – Scilla Grimble. The rapid food delivery service is facing rising competition globally from competitors such as Just Eat, Grubhub and Uber Eats and its share price is down 65% since its IPO last year. Deliveroo recognises that it is in a precarious position and in a recent statement said that the economic context meant that it needed to ‘remain focused on running the company in the most efficient way’.
Deliveroo has identified efficiency as its key driver for growth, and Grimble has got a lot of challenges to ensure that Deliveroo is delivering on its promise to customers as well as ensuring the business is running in a profitable way. With this in mind, it is essential that Grimble is supported with the right technology to ensure that the business can ensure its financials remain in perfect order and it can focus on future growth.
The changing role of the CFO
Across sectors the role of the CFO is starting to move beyond managing the day-to-day activity in the finance team. Those in the role have the potential to be seen as a figurehead and spokesperson for their companies and the role is ever-expanding, with duties moving closer to those of the CEO.
CFOs have a seat at the table when it comes to decision making within businesses and they can become a key and trusted adviser to the CEO. We’ve seen this recently with M&S, whose reshuffle earlier in the year announced Eoin Tonge’s role as chief strategy & finance officer, making him closer to key decisions at the retailer.
As the CFO’s role and responsibilities expand, it is imperative that they are supported with the right technology to ensure that finance systems and calculations are accurate. The right technologies need to be implemented now, not far off in the future. Introducing automation and technology within finance departments will ensure that systems run efficiently with no room for error, giving the CFO room and time to take on strategy and business decision making alongside finance responsibilities.
Technology supporting efficiency
Many financial departments still rely on archaic systems like Microsoft Excel, even in some larger organisations, but this is no longer enough. Despite how careful and precise the user is, Excel can easily result in miscalculations and further manual errors, as seen in the JPMorgan scandal where an Excel error led the business to lose $9bn. Even small errors can have a huge and damaging impact on budgets. This can have devastating consequences for the business and potentially shake credibility with stakeholders and the CFO’s personal reputation. While Excel has a rightful place in the accounting and auditing field, it shouldn’t be the only software professionals put their trust into.
Instead, professionals need to shift their trust to emerging technologies. Cloud-based software can track the source of each financial figure, guaranteeing reliability at every stage, while at the same time ensuring compliance and confidence. Robust finances can efficiently set up companies for investment and scaling. This will be crucial for a business like Deliveroo which is looking to stay competitive in the FMCG sector.
Investment in tech to take on the repetitive and data heavy tasks will allow Deliveroo’s CFO to prioritise strategic decisions while ensuring that its financial departments continue to run efficiently. Ambitious CFOs like Grimble who are tasked to ensure that the business continues to run in the most effective way possible need to be supported with the right technology which can handle complexities around financial calculations without the fear of manual error.
Finance professionals are under tremendous pressure as it is, and those responsibilities and pressures are only growing as the CFO role shapeshifts. If Grimble is to deliver true change, she needs to be able to trust the figures in front of her so she can get on with the other parts of her role. What’s more, delivering efficiency will mean ensuring her talented team is able to spend less time on each task – a key advantage to using automation accountancy systems.
Technology is synonymous with efficiency, and automation that supports financial processes and calculations can play a huge role in creating a lean and effective process within a business. If Deliveroo’s new CFO is looking to ensure the business runs in the most economical way possible, then it is imperative it recognises the opportunity that technology will play in helping it reach its full potential.