Is the CFO’s role over-hyped?
Highlights of research The Future of the Finance Function Survey 2016 released today by the FSN Modern Finance Forum suggests that the CFOs role is overhyped and full of contradictions. For the most part CFOs are still bogged down by their traditional accounting role with insufficient time to devote to value creation or nurturing their finance teams. The research was conducted amongst the 46,000 members of the FSN Modern Finance Forum on Linkedin and represents one of the largest surveys of its kind.
“While many CFOs have travelled a long way on the modern finance journey, our research shows that there is a significant gap between perception and what is happening on the ground. CFOs are struggling to find their equilibrium between their traditional role as financial steward and guardian of corporate assets and the new demands of business partnering, strategic advisor and technology influencer,” says Gary Simon, FSN’s chief executive officer and the leader of the Modern Finance Forum.
“On the one hand CFOs of the future expect to be more influential in decision-making, technology and data governance but on the other hand around a third rely on gut feel rather than hard data, two thirds admit they have not mastered the volume and variety of business data and a similar number neglect innovation and process improvement. Disappointingly more than half of all CFOs say they don’t spend enough time on business partnering,” he added.
“The FSN Future of Finance Survey says what it means to be a CFO today” states Tom Crawford, CEO of Aptitude Software. “Finance executives have the chance to deliver strategic insights at the board-level, but the majority are caught up on transaction processing and backwards-looking statutory accounting. The Future of Finance Survey will help more CFOs to see how they can transform their role and organisations through standardising processes, automating transaction processing and linking front and back office systems.”
An infographic released today depicts some of the highlights of the research and will form the foundation of discussion in the FSN Modern Finance Forum in Linkedin during the next few months. The full research entitled The Future of the Finance Function Survey 2016 will be released at a reception and dinner at the Dorchester Hotel on 2nd June
762 senior finance professionals responded to the survey covering 23 countries and 13 industry sectors. Just over half of the respondents were from organisations with more than 1,000 employees.