For two days, the conference provided a forum for finance management professionals, to present key research findings and insights, and discuss critical factors that impact the landscape of today’s corporate finance world and the role of finance professionals. Topics included the adaptation of new technologies, the impact of the current economic conditions and the rising importance of a solid innovation process as the role of the CFO expands from beyond the spreadsheets to spearheading innovation.
“We are proud to collaborate with IMA to hold this important event,” said Dr. Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Maghames, Secretary General, SOCPA. “Having a connection with an international institute like IMA means connecting with people all over the world.”
Bassam Asiri,CMA, President of IMA’s Saudi Arabia-Eastern Province Chapter, and Manager of Planning and Performance at Saudi Aramco, spoke about integrating technology’s best practices. He emphasized that management makes better business decisions based on accurate, relevant and well-structured data and information provided to them by management accountants.
Ben Mulling, CMA, CPA.CITP, Chair of IMA’s Global Board Directors and CFO at TENTE Casters, Inc., discussed the many challenges CFOs face in their role of adding value to the organization as businesses become more complex. The challenges for tomorrow’s CFO and finance teams will become more complex in the future.
He said, “Tomorrow’s CFOs will need a much broader skill set. What you see more of today is a marriage between technology and finance. To be successful in finance, you have to merge the two. At IMA, we can help our members with the necessary continuing education to accomplish this.”
Loutfi Chehade, CMA, Financial Advisor for Family Businesses moderated the panel discussion, “Challenges of the CFO Team in the New Tech Era.” He mentioned that the lack of communication, lack of coordination and lack of alignment between the IT and the finance function can be resolved with a common platform, a common language and an interchange of key responsibilities to deliver accurate information required by decision makers.
“Finance professionals need to learn trends to bring new knowledge to their company,” said Maan Karadsheh, Senior Manager at Consulting Deloitte & Touche, who was part of a panel discussion that addressed the challenges faced by a CFO in the tech era.
“We should continuously learn about security and be aware of its threats online,” said Dr. Fadi Aloul from the HP Institute and the American University of Sharjah (AUS), who spoke about the growing value of investing in and maintaining cybersecurity for both companies and end-users.
Throughout the conference, more than 200 attendees enjoyed panel discussions and workshops, followed by questions and answers, as well as lecture sessions with distinguished speakers. Attendees hailed from around the world, and included women in finance, professionals who earned IMA’s CMA (Certified Management Accountant) credential, as well as accountants who planned on pursuing the certification to further their careers.
The conference concluded with an award ceremony recognizing and honoring the speakers, IMA KSA volunteer leaders and partners. with special trophies honoring their presence and participation. The conference attracted the specialized media, CNBC Arabia conducted a live broadcast, and print coverage included esteemed newspapers and publications, including Al Riyadh, Al Eqtisadiah, Al Jazira, Capital Business, and others.