Coming through several tumultuous years, CFOs and finance leaders have spearheaded enterprisewide responses to business challenges sparked by widespread labor shortages, outdated and inefficient supply chain models, Russia’s war on Ukraine and the resulting profusion of business sanctions on Russia, interest rate volatility, and rising inflation. If the global pandemic rendered brutally honest judgments on finance transformation progress, subsequent effects have presented opportunities for CFOs to establish and stress-test their expanding strategic roles in real-time.
The takeaways from the results of our latest Global Finance Trends Survey show that, not surprisingly, CFOs are positioning themselves as key contributors to the enterprise’s strategy and related dialogue in the C-suite and boardroom.
Key findings include:
- Use of flexible labor models is on the rise: Amid the ongoing war for qualified talent, more finance organizations are leveraging managed services providers and staff augmentation options to obtain in-demand and hard-to-find skills and resources in areas including financial reporting, accounts payable, strategic finance and PMO activities. Leveraging a flexible labor model is especially advantageous amid uncertain market conditions.
- Security and privacy of data remain the top priority … but barely: Similar to prior years, security and privacy remain the top-ranked priority globally for CFOs, but other finance areas trail close behind, including profitability reporting and analysis, blockchain and leadership skills.
- Blockchain rises: While never a low-ranked finance priority, blockchain and smart contracts have jumped well into the top 10 this year.
- ESG strategies and reporting take center stage: From an increased focus on and frequency of ESG reporting to formal and documented DEI programs, CFOs and finance leaders are devoting more time, attention and resources to enterprise ESG initiatives.
- Inflation is a concern – though for CFOs, not a major one: It’s not surprising to find the impact of inflation (a new area added to this year’s survey) among the top overall priorities in the study, but it ranks noticeably lower for CFOs than other finance leaders, perhaps indicating their greater awareness of measures the organization is taking or their views on other trends that may be emerging.