CFOs need to get familiar with hot topics, says Altron’s Nicholas Bofilatos

He encourages CFOs to beef up their AI, blockchain and automation knowledge for better results.

In an ever-changing world, finance professionals need to take on new skills and capabilities in order to become business partners of the future. Now more than ever, the finance professional of the future needs critical thinking skills, but also soft skills, the ability to collaborate, but also to make tough decisions. Over the next few weeks, we interview some of South Africa’s leading CFOs to find out how they are incorporating continuous and broad learning and personal development into their lives.

Altron CFO Nicholas Bofilatos believes that personal development is essential for everyone, not just a CFO. “Growing and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones is how we grow, it’s how we learn and adapt. Continuous growth allows you to remain informed and relevant.”

Nicholas is currently studying towards an MBA at Henley Business School, which he explains has enabled him to view problems from multiple perspectives. “It gives one the ability to have a more rounded view of a problem, to help inform a holistic solution, rather than a one-sided solution or one that addresses a single viewpoint.”

He encourages other finance professionals to find something that interests them, that will keep them relevant – be it new technology impacting the world of finance, or getting comfortable with technical account implications that allow CFOs to apply complex standards that influence their financial statements. “A detailed understanding of technical accounting matters will aid you in advising business on how to navigate operational matters and not have adverse implications on your results.”

Nicholas adds that “any short course on hot topics, like AI, blockchain, or finance automation, will broaden your thinking, prepare you for the future, and allow you to adapt and pre-empt”.