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Jennifer McCarthy
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Financial Leaders Identify Six Key Areas Where CFOs Fail to Deliver for the Board of Directors

Fraud monitoring and mitigation, performance risk management top list in new study from CFO Research 

Kyriba, the #1 global provider of cloud treasury and financial management solutions, today announced the results of a new research study, including an in-depth survey and analysis, showing that corporate fraud – already a hot topic among global treasury and financial teams – is now a top concern at the board of directors level.

According to the survey of 167 U.S. financial leaders at companies with up to $5 billion in annual revenues across a wide range of industries by CFO Research, fraud monitoring and mitigation ranked as the No. 1 area where CFOs fail to deliver critical information and decision support to their respective boards. At 36 percent, fraud detection ranked ahead of performance risk management and strategic/operational risk management (both 32 percent). Other critical areas included growth strategy, with 26 percent, and cost control/reduction at 25 percent. (The survey allowed respondents to select multiple areas.)

The study resulting from the survey entitled, “The Six Key Areas Where CFOs Fail to Deliver for the Board of Directors,” was sponsored by Kyriba and is available as a free download.

“This research confirms that the battle against fraud is not only intensifying, but is now a top-level concern,” says Chris Schmidt, director of research at CFO Research, an Argyle company. “The senior finance executives we surveyed made it clear that they know they need to do a better job of keeping their boards informed about this critical issue.”

The study also revealed:

  • Business continuity planning, at 52 percent, was seen as the most important value that a strategic CFO can deliver to the board and CEO, followed by managing financial risk to prevent loss (51 percent) and reducing costs/improving margins (43 percent).
  • When it comes to treasury management, most boards view cash and liquidity management and forecasting (66 percent) as the most important function, followed by risk management (46 percent) and financial transactions (45 percent).
  • Nearly 95 percent of respondents said their CFO is seeking better ways, and better technologies, to meet the demands of the boardroom and the CEO. Fraud risk technology ranked highest, followed by risk management, working capital management and cash and liquidity management.

The good news for CFOs is that 94 percent of financial leaders agree or strongly agree that their CFO is perceived by their board of directors and CEO as a critical strategic business partner. Still, it’s clear CFOs have work to do in providing the right information at the right time to help empower the board and meet their growth objectives. Here, respondents had several suggestions for their peers:

  • “Put together a standardized set of (financial) metrics that you share with the BOD at every meeting. Don’t make them try to understand new formats all of the time,” said the head of finance at a manufacturing company.
  • “Improve your cash and liquidity management and forecasting, and keep the board abreast of liquidity concerns,” said the CFO at a transportation company.
  • “Increase the use of data analytics to drive improved decision making,” said a financial leader at a pharmaceutical company.

Kyriba is the #1 provider of cloud treasury and financial management solutions. Kyriba empowers financial leaders and their teams with award-winning solutions for cash and risk management, payments and supply chain finance. Kyriba delivers a highly secure, 100% SaaS platform, superior bank connectivity and a seamlessly integrated solution set for tackling today’s most complex financial challenges. More than 1,600 companies, including many of the world’s largest organizations, rely on Kyriba to streamline key processes, protect against loss from fraud and cybercrime, and accelerate growth opportunities through improved decision support. Kyriba is headquartered in New York, with offices in San Diego, Paris, London, Tokyo, Dubai and other major locations. 

CFO Research Services is the research unit of CFO Publishing Corp., which publishes CFO magazine, one of the leading publications for senior financial executives.