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17

Jan

48th World CFO Congress Summit, Vietnam.

Expenzing talk on “Give Yourself an Unfair Advantage with Spend Management” at the 48th World CFO Congress Summit, Vietnam.

Being at an International Conference like the World CFO Forum at HCM in Vietnam, is always an enriching experience, as you get to interact with over 500 delegates from over 30 countries. This provides a whole array of perspectives of what is happening in their economy & hence to businesses in their countries, which leaves one invariably enriched.

However, when you are also a speaker at such a forum, the challenges are multi-fold, in ensuring that what you talk about is relevant & useful to all those present, across industries, seniority & countries.

My talk on the second day morning was part of a session called “Fintech and The Finance Function” and consisted of 3 speakers and a panel discussion to follow. As the 3rd speaker, I had already realized that the first 2 speakers had focused more on the Tech part of Fin-tech & hence it was an opportunity for me to emphasize on the Finance part of Fin-tech so that we would have a good mix of content to carry into the Panel Discussion.

In my talk on “Give Yourself an Unfair Advantage with Spend Management”, I emphasized the role digitalization of finance functions plays in giving organizations a competitive edge. As a matter of principle in these talks & presentations, while I stick to my areas of expertise which is Spend Management for the Finance Function, I strictly avoid explicitly pitching the Expenzing Product, since it seems unfair to both the organizers and especially the paying audience of CFO’s who attend these events.

Fortunately, there were several themes which had been discussed on the first day, which allowed me to build on them while bringing out the Imperatives & Advantages of implementing a Spend Management discipline & product in the Organization. Key among the themes that have been discussed earlier were:

  • The relevance of the CFO in the fast-changing world & would elements of the Finance function get eliminated by technology
  • The changing Macro-economic environment in which CFOs of Organizations were finding themselves towards the end of 2018, as we moved from the relative stability of the last couple of years to the swings brought about by things like Trade Sanctions, Central Bank Tightening & Funds outflow from Emerging Markets, among others

The key areas that I focused on in my session, and I will talk about in details in a subsequent post:

  1. Key Trends Impacting the CFO today
  2. How Smart CFOs are adapting to these trends – one of the points in this was implementing Spend Management
  3. Why the Increased emphasis by CFO’s on Spend Management?
  4. The Spend & Expense Management Paradigm – What benefits it provides
  5. Selective the right level of Spend Management system, based on your needs

There were not only a lot of questions based on my talk, but a lot of these topics were also taken up in a subsequent Panel discussion on “Fintech and Financial Risk Management: Evolution or Revolution” of which I was a part of. I shall also talk about the panel discussion in a subsequent post.

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