CFO 2.0 | Only Innovators and Influencers Will Succeed In Future

Over 80% of CFOs feel that they are not able to keep up with the exponential pace of change for businesses today with factors like changing customer expectations, speed of innovation, channel disruption and legal and regulatory landscape changing rapidly.  The annual CFO Evolution Benchmark Survey was conducted by US based accounting and business consulting firm Armenio and traced the evolution of the CFO’s role in a business organization. 

CFOs finding it hard to keep up with the pace of change for business & technology: 81%

“In simple terms, this means a CFO must be the in-house thought leader and the advocate for change,” said Matt Armanino, COO and partner at Armanino. “But that doesn’t mean that CFOs can stop at simply championing blue-sky ideas. They must mobilize their teams to make the business case for change and then implement action. Real leaders initiate and guide change.

Skills Critical For Success In Future

Innovation: 81%
Influencing: 94%

”The firm said that the role of a chief financial officer (CFO) was undergoing rapid evolution with the CFOs role changing from being that of a leader, protector and account for their organization to a more transformative role as innovator and influencer in the light of these changes. Not surpringly,  81%  of CFO respondents said that being an innovator was critical to their success going forward. An overwhelming 94%  said the same for being an influencer. 

CFOs planning technology investments: 80%

In other finding, 79% of CFOS believed that the pace at which their company needs to change is accelerating and 80% said that changes in customer expectations has had an impact on their industry. Customers have more options and see faster results than ever before, and finance leaders need to address the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA – a military term coined for post cold war world) of the modern marketplace, said the firm. Nearly three-quarters of respondents agreed that if their company fails to transform, it will not exist in future. 

CFOs planning talent development: 83% 

While only 32%  of surveyed CFOs were concerned about the impact of artificial intelligence, robotics and blockchain technology, four-fifth or 80% of the CFOS planned to invest in a technology roadmap with 71% agreeing that the success of their company in future was dependent on their technology infrastructure. A further 67% said their own technology investment had a significant effect on strategy and operations with 65% saying that the acceleration of the technology landscape had a significant effect on their company’s strategy and operations.

Talent development was also a key concern with 83% planning to invest in development and training of their people. The top priority for talent management, after recruiting and retention, was to identifying the next set of skills for the CFO organization.