CFOs Making Critical Contributions to Strategy, Survey Says
High-ranking finance professionals are increasingly tapped to make strategic plans for their companies.
That’s the bottom line from a survey of 817 CFOs, vice presidents of finance, finance directors, controllers, and other finance professionals conducted by Menlo Park, California-based consulting firm Proviti.The company’s annual Finance Trends Survey reveals a continuing shift of priorities among senior finance executives and their operational priorities.
Survey respondents are employed both in the public and private sectors worldwide. More than half represent companies with $1 billion or more in annual revenues.
Respondents reported their priorities and areas of concern for the next 12 months. More than 70% identified “strategic planning” as the main field in which they wish to improve their knowledge and capabilities.
This indicates that high-ranking finance professionals are more and more inclined toward strategic planning and analysis in addition to handling day-to-day finance and transactional matters.
Data security is also considered a strategic responsibility, with 84% of CFO’s and finance VPs - and 70% of other respondents - placing data security high on their list of priorities.
Finance execs are involved in improving customer service, too, by collecting transaction data and mining it for insights that reveal long-term trends and opportunities for growth.
Respondents generally support transparency towards internal customers, with a majority citing enhanced data analytics as a priority.
About 61% of respondents said that increased involvement in data analysis and strategic planning will call for increased headcount in the financial suite.
Other factors that will drive workforce expansion include cloud-based applications and data-visualization applications.
While the labor force within the financial sector seems to be expanding, 28% of respondents reported that they plan to reduce overall headcount in the next 12 months, largely due to process automation.
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