Global study reveals that CFOs still unable to break free from their traditional role

FSN Future of the Finance Function Survey 2016 reveals CFOs role is overhyped

June 1, 2016

Global study reveals that CFOs still unable to break free from their traditional role

Highlights of research The Future of the Finance Function Survey 2016 released today by the FSN Modern Finance Forum suggests that the CFOs role is overhyped and full of contradictions.  For the most part CFOs are still bogged down by their traditional accounting role with insufficient time to devote to value creation or nurturing their finance teams.  The research was conducted amongst the 46,000 members of the FSN Modern Finance Forum on Linkedin and represents one of the largest surveys of its kind.

“While many CFOs have travelled a long way on the modern finance journey, our research shows that there is a significant gap between perception and what is happening on the ground. CFOs are struggling to find their equilibrium between their traditional role as financial steward and guardian of corporate assets and the new demands of business partnering, strategic advisor and technology influencer,” says Gary Simon, FSN’s chief executive officer and the leader of the Modern Finance Forum.

“On the one hand CFOs of the future expect to be more influential in decision-making, technology and data governance but on the other hand around a third rely on gut feel rather than hard data, two thirds admit they have not mastered the volume and variety of business data and a similar number neglect innovation and process improvement. Disappointingly more than half of all CFOs say they don’t spend enough time on business partnering,” he added.

Daniel Mason, Prophix UK MD and survey sponsor, comments:  “This survey ties in with what we see generally in the market place today, there is a recognition that the office of finance needs to change, to modernise its approach and extend its reach across the business, and there is a genuine desire to do so.  However, execution can often lag some way behind.  The good news is that we are definitely seeing signs that momentum is building.”

“Many of our customers are taking advantage of the benefits that Corporate Performance Management technology can bring to automate the collection and reporting of data, truly enabling their teams to focus more on the analysis of data and ensuring it is used to positively influence business decision making.  Many are also proactively partnering with other areas of the business to forge stronger and more meaningful links – the net result is finance team that becomes a source of competitive advantage helping shape the future of their organisations rather than merely reporting on its past.

An infographic released this week depicts some of the highlights of the research and will form the foundation of discussion in the FSN Modern Finance Forum in Linkedin during the next few months.  The full research entitled The Future of the Finance Function Survey 2016 will be released at a reception and dinner at the Dorchester Hotel on 2nd June 762 senior finance professionals responded to the survey covering 23 countries and 13 industry sectors.  Just over half of the respondents were from organisations with more than 1,000 employees.

About FSN Publishing
FSN provides finance professionals around the globe with independent news, vital analysis and deep insight about key developments in the world of business and accounting systems.  We debunk the technical jargon of the IT world and present leading-edge issues in a way that is accessible and relevant to business decision makers. With more than 1.5 million page impressions per year, FSN is a major influence in the business systems market and the largest business of its kind in Europe.


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