Aico attended our first Rethink! Corporate Finance event in April, 2023. As a partner, we gave presentations, shared insights one-to-one with other attendees. Our representatives Thilo Waetzold and Michel von Hören invite you to read on to find out more.
What is Rethink! Corporate Finance and why did Aico attend?
Rethink! Corporate Finance is an annual event for CFOs and finance decision-makers. The theme for 2023 was The CFO Summit on business resilience and finance transformation in turbulent times. It was held at the Hotel Palace Berlin between April 23 – 25, 2023.
As newcomers to the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), we were keen to understand what was on the minds of the financial industry and share how Aico can serve their needs.
We sent our top-notch sales team to meet the decision-makers of the financial world, develop existing relationships and present for discussion a number of key topics.
Some of the major themes of the event focused on:
· How new innovative technologies are transforming corporate finance
· Effective controlling and consolidation tools and their integration into already existing processes
· The strategies available to CFOs to ensure critical positions attract the best talent
· Maximising resilience in times of crisis
Because Aico is a financial close automation platform, built to support financial teams in efficiently managing their key record-to-report (R2R) accounting procedures, we were well placed to share our expertise, and excited to hear what other thought leaders were talking about.
In danger of becoming a repeat offender
This year's visit to the event was new for Aico, but not for our "repeat offender" Thilo. He attended in 2021 with a market companion and was happy to renew several acquaintances.
As "the new kid on the block" in the DACH sales region, we have to take every opportunity to get people excited about Aico's solutions. In addition to the day-to-day sales work (research, profiling, prospecting and all other steps of the sales cycle), we love to take advantage of face-to-face events such as Rethink! Corporate Finance.
The four major themes for discussion
This year, Rethink! Corporate Finance was focussing on the transformation of the finance function in times of constant change and macro- and microeconomic challenges. The world has been battered by a series of unprecedented events in the past few years, and the financial industry needs to take stock of the situation and share best practices on how to keep delivering consistent, reliable and accountable service.
We realised there were four major themes:
Innovation is more critical than ever, and financial experts are renewing efforts to safeguard the financial process against an uncertain future.
The major disruption of the coronavirus appears to be over, and businesses are readjusting. More people dare to meet up in person to exchange ideas and look beyond the pandemic to the future, but there is still room for improvement.
Streamlining accounting processes continues to be a perennial issue. There is a growing idea that by concentrating outsourced activities in shared service centres, greater efficiencies can be made.
The demands on the efficiency and speed of financial processes are constantly increasing, which of course has a corresponding influence on period closing. This is exactly where Aico attacks with its tools.
A focus in digital transformation
Our own Thilo Waetzold, (International Sales Manager, DACH region), and Sarah Bellerby, (Senior Solutions Consultant) gave a well-received presentation about the tools available to help financial teams increase efficiency without sacrificing accuracy. They covered:
· Sub-process solution vs. holistic solution approach
· Pros and cons of the tools on the market
· What role does IT play - innovation brake or innovation driver?
They followed up this success with a talk about how teams can make their SAP R2R accounting process fit for the future, something they are experts on given Aico’s SAP integration. They shared insights on:
· How using an integrated end-to-end software platform provides a single source of truth through automation
· The best way to achieve efficiency gains by eliminating manual/repetitive activities and sustainable improvements
· The importance of utilising tech that supports the entire accounting ecosystem with constantly changing R2R processes
We were most impressed by the customer case studies regarding the change of the finance function from the cost centre to the innovation driver.
For us, Klaus Werner, the CFO of Deutsche Telekom’s talk entitled From Trend to Reality – How digitalisation and data analytics are leading finance into the future was the most fascinating. He challenged the audience to consider how the performance and efficiency of the finance function can be maintained whilst managing the changing landscape of accounting regulations, legal uncertainty and compliance risks.
Key takeaways and exciting news
We will almost certainly continue to attend this event in the future as it has proven to be one of the best-organised and best-attended events of 2023.
The atmosphere was very relaxed and provided excellent opportunities for continuous networking.
Our goal was always to speak to as many people as possible, to find out what they are thinking and what their concerns are. And, of course, share with these professionals how Aico can help them.