CFOs: Too many priorities, too little time

accapr —  23 November 2012 — Leave a comment

tall building, modern CFOBy Jamie Lyon, head of corporate sector, ACCA

It’s tough being a CFO these days. ACCA has just launched a paper, called The changing role of the CFO, sharing the outcomes of a number of CFO roundtables across the world – the results make interesting reading.

The big challenge facing finance leaders everywhere now, and moving forward, is volatility. More than ever before, we see greater focus on the finance function trying to support the business in decision making and forecasting, but it’s a big ask with so little certainty in the business environment.

Unfortunately this isn’t the only challenge facing CFOs, according to the finance leaders we spoke to. The other big issue is a lack of time, with many suggesting there are simply too many priorities to deal with.

The roundtables focused on how the future role of finance leaders is evolving. A number of key issues were identified: more regulatory pressure, greater risks, the increasing importance of technology, the challenges around providing business insight, and of course talent development.

The increasing breadth and challenge of the top finance job as it evolves will continue to call into play skills such as global leadership, communication and influencing skills.

Supporting the business with core finance activities is simply table stakes for most CFOs now as they seek to drive greater finance influence across the business, and critically support the organisation in its strategic approach and decision taking.

The upside of course is that this also provides finance functions and their leaders with some great opportunities.

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