The CFO as Catalyst for Change - Part 2
By jmorourke on May 23, 2013
In Part 1 of this series, I talked about some of the factors that are changing the role of the CFO. But exactly how much has the CFO role changed and what’s in store for the future? To shed more light on the subject, Oracle partnered with Accenture to conduct a global research study. The study "The CFO as Catalyst for Change", includes insights from 930 CFOs from organizations of varying sizes and from different continents. In other words, it's quite comprehensive.
The study highlights the evolution of the CFO’s role from financial overseer to corporate strategist and change agent. Specifically, there are a few key takeaways I wanted to highlight:
The CFO role is becoming more strategic and influential:
- More than 70% of respondents said their overall level of strategic influence has increased over the past three years
- Respondents said their role is increasing in setting and determining strategy (65%) and business transformation (47%).
Internal and external challenges are hindering CFOs from reaching their full strategic potential:
- Only 33% of CFOs surveyed play a leading role in strategy formulation; an even smaller proportion (24%) play a leading role in strategy execution
- The challenging economic environment was identified as the largest barrier (37%), followed by a shortage of time (35%) and lack of integration between the finance function and other parts of the business (31%).
CFOs recognize technology is critical to helping:
- 84% of respondents said co-operation between the finance leader and CIO has increased during the past three years.
- 79% listed access to information as a key factor to making their organization more agile
- 57% of respondents viewed investments in disruptive technology, such as big data and analytics, as key source of competitive advantage.
Maintenance and integration issues are still the biggest technology concerns for CFOs:
- Cost of maintenance, cost of integration and lack of integration between systems were listed as the top three concerns of CFO respondents.
For more information, you can find the press release and links to the full report here. If you’d like to hear the findings discussed in more detail make sure to tune into the CFO.com webcast on May 30th at 12PM EDT. More information on the webcast and registration is available here.