Posted by Reginald Singh, VP for Asia, NetSuite

With the January 2015 creation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) fast approaching, Southeast Asia is poised for a business and economic upswing. The AEC’s elimination of tariffs and trade barriers promises to be a catalyst for growth across the region, but also poses risks to companies not agile enough to capitalize on the opportunity.

CFOs and other finance executives are squarely in the spotlight as we approach the AEC transformation. They’re expected to play a more strategic role in their organizations, yet many finance teams are stuck on a treadmill of laborious number-crunching across disparate systems and spreadsheets. In fact, a study of 338 finance executives by the research firm Loudhouse found that 68 percent of them were too consumed by tactical day-to-day activities to innovate.[1]

The CFO’s changing role and its many challenges is the topic of the 5th CFO Innovation Forum, scheduled for June 24-25 in Singapore. A key focus area for the conference is how organizations are reshaping the finance function with cloud-based software while netting cross-enterprise benefits in visibility, cost-efficiency and agility for growth.

If you’re coming to the conference, mark your calendars for my presentation titled “CFO Case Study: Demystifying Cloud to Achieve a Strategic Advantage,” at 11:20 a.m. Wednesday, June 25. The session will cover how senior finance executives and CFOs are increasingly looking to the cloud to drive business growth, efficiencies and cost savings. To help further demonstrate how executives can leverage the technology, I will be joined by Larry Ng, Finance Manager at Neopost Asia Pacific, who will talk about how his company is reaping the benefits of the NetSuite cloud.

Based in Singapore, Neopost Asia Pacific was incorporated in July 2011 by the company’s parent office, based in France. Neopost France, a leading global provider of mail and parcel management solutions, launched its Asia Pacific division to better support its operations in Southeast Asia. Neopost Asia Pacific deployed the NetSuite OneWorld global business management solution to manage subsidiaries in India, Japan and several other nations.

Neopost is just one of a growing number of Southeast Asian businesses that are turning to cloud-based software for innovation and growth. NetSuite is the solution of choice for many of these organizations, typically cutting in half the time they’d previously spent on accounting, fulfilling orders and IT development.

The 5th CFO Innovation Forum promises to be a great event that brings together CFOs, financial controllers and other finance executives to share ideas and insights on industry issues and the fast-changing market landscape. I hope to see you there!

[1] Loudhouse Research, “The Strategic Finance Gap,” August 2013, produced for NetSuite.