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The Changing Role and Responsibilities of the CFO

13 May, 2022
4min read
Rachelle Fisher, AVP, Digital Transformation
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What you'll learn

  • CFOs help evaluate technologies and drive digital transformation
  • Finance leaders are today concerned about customer experience management, talent management, and other areas.
CONTENT
Introduction
CFO Focus Areas: 2021 vs. 2022
Additional resources
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Introduction

The chief financial officer’s (CFO’s) role continues to evolve as the business and the market environment remain dynamic. From being the go-to person for annual reports, revenues and profit numbers, and cutting costs, the modern CFO is a strategic leader who weighs in on different decisions ranging from talent management to IT security.

The new CFO or finance leader’s role covers a gamut of areas, including crisis management, technology evaluation, customer experience management, attrition control, and business continuity management. The pandemic (COVID-19) has further added to the changing role of the CFO.

Remote working conditions and the ‘great resignation’ are testing finance leaders’ softer skills and forcing them to radically change the way their department functions. Once known for their massive volumes of record books and slow workflows, finance and accounting teams have modernized their processes and adopted digital technology to improve efficiency and productivity.

We surveyed 150+ mid-market finance leaders in the US early this year to understand their changing roles. In the below infographic, we present how CFOs’ roles have changed, and how they juggle multiple tasks and wear many hats.

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CFO, the new marketer

Our results reveal that it is not just the CMO who cares about marketing. The CFO considers customer experience as one of the key metrics to track when evaluating the ROI of digital transformation initiatives (51.7%).

One of the main reasons CFOs do not want to lag in accounts receivable automation investment is to prevent customer frustration (41.8%). 73.5% of finance leaders consider ease-of-use factors (e.g., self-service portals) for customers when evaluating AR software.

CFO Focus Areas: 2021 vs. 2022

CFOs, today, focus on multiple areas, not limited to accounting and financial reporting.

We asked CFOs how they expect their role as a senior finance executive to change in 2022 with respect to a gamut of functions, not limited to accounting and reporting.
The table below captures the percentage of CFOs who said their focus increased in these areas in 2021 and expect to increase in 2022.

2021 2022
Financial accounting 58.0% 59.3%
Cash and revenue forecasting 43.0% 42.4%
Evaluating finance technologies 44.7% 40.1%
Financial analysis 42.7% 40.1
Reporting 36.7% 38.0%
Budgeting 41.4% 46.4%
Compliance management 41.6% 43.2%
Strategic Planning 40.3% 38.8%
Expenditure planning 34.4% 38.0%
Financing activities 45.0% 45.3%
M&A 30.0% 32.9
Talent acquisition and retention 43.4% 43.5%

Additional resources

If you’re interested in reading more about the other areas that CFOs are increasingly involved with and focused on, check out our other resources:

Click here to download our 2022 report on the State of CFO’s Office.

If you’re evaluating accounts receivable automation software, schedule a demo with us to see our solutions in action.

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Accounts Receivable
CFO
FINANCE
Midmarket
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