Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

  • March 5, 2020

Where Should CFOs Focus in 2020?

Guest Author

By: Margaret Harrist, Director, Content Strategy and Implementation, Oracle

The role of CFOs is expanding quickly, from traditional finance and accounting responsibilities to becoming the strategic navigator of the business. Many are feeling a growing pressure to make that shift and say that juggling too many responsibilities is their top challenge—even ahead of more traditional concerns like managing cash flow.

In addition to adapting to changing expectations and demands, the vast majority of CFOs expect an economic downturn in the very near future. In a report from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and CFO Magazine, more than half of the US CFOs surveyed think the country will slip into a recession by the fourth quarter of 2020; 76% think a recession will arrive by the middle of 2021. 

So where should CFOs focus their attention during a time of rapid change? We talked with finance leaders from a range of industries about their most critical priorities in 2020, including:

  1. Moving from disconnected spreadsheets to integrated insight. Without the right insight, cutting costs can be a strategic disadvantage in the long term.
  2. Hiring and building new skillsets. Automation and an ever-increasing focus on data analysis means that finance needs very different employees in the future.
  3. Seeing the business holistically. Finance has a unique insight across the business, and is able to connect dots to identify inefficiencies and opportunities across the business.
  4. Establishing the right technology foundation. New technologies and new security threats are coming at CFOs constantly. Even if a CFO is not ready to incorporate artificial intelligence or blockchain, it’s important to build the right foundation for a data-driven finance future

To dive into these priorities, check out the full article on Forbes: Under Pressure: CFOs’ Top Priorities for 2020.

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