CFOs are wearing more hats than ever and their list of responsibilities is growing, particularly those steering the ship for publicly traded companies.
More than 50% of CFOs say their responsibilities have increased, according to a new report by Ankura, What Is on the Minds of CFOs?: “The majority of public company CFOs have seen their role expand steadily during the past three to five years while their private counterparts have experienced a more pronounced uptick in the past 12 months.”
Traditional responsibilities for CFOs always included budgeting & forecasting, investor relations, accounting, financial reporting and maintaining cash flow. Today’s CFOs are dealing with a host of new duties being added to their plates, such as:
- sales and operations
- procurement/supply chain management
- corporate strategy, and
- business intelligence/analytics.
The positive angle is financial pros are expanding their knowledge base and making themselves more valuable to their companies or future employers. For example: leaning on financial knowledge and motivational skills to jump-start a lagging sales team.
The negatives: more hours grinding away, a lot more pressure, plus a lack of job talent that companies need to thrive and grow – which would seems to signal the additional CFO job duties are here to stay.
Cybersecurity, automation are on CFOs’ minds a lot
While many companies are putting their CFOs in charge of critical areas like sales, operations and inventory, few if any are jettisoning their IT/IS directors. CFOs control the purse strings at the end of the day, but CIOs are still calling the shots on companies’ day-to-day tech strategies.
Based on what CFOs told Ankura, it sounds like many would prefer more control over the IT realm. “Cybersecurity is a universal source of unease … with more than 83% citing it as a high or serious concern. … 79% of executives [worry] about excessive manual processes and the use of Excel.”
As financial teams continue to be stretched thinner, “improving efficiency with streamlined processes, automated workflows, and enabling tools and technology will [become more] essential to supporting the business. Reducing manual operations will minimize errors while increasing speed and efficiency, allowing the team time to engage in more strategic or analytical activities.”