The role of a Chief Finance Officer has changed immeasurably in the last decade.
Though the advent of technology is inevitably one reason, the role of a CFO itself has become much more wide-ranging, and future-focused.
Modern-day CFOs aren’t content with looking back at what’s been done before; they need to have an eye on upcoming trends. As a CFO, leveraging these trends could be what your business needs to thrive in the race with its competitors.
With that in mind, this post will discuss four key trends that impact CFOs right now. It will also discuss what you could be doing to make sure your business is prepared.
For CFOs, as with executives, it’s vital that their business remains sustainable. A changing role has led to many CFOs having to broaden their skillset, including digital skills alongside more traditional ones. Modern CFOs need to be familiar with new technologies and work environments (like hybrid or remote working) as they emerge, looking towards the future for new ideas.
Only 13% of UK finance leaders say their companies accept cryptocurrency as payment right now, but many CFOs see it as a trend that’ll stay relevant. 44% of those surveyed by Sage believed that cryptocurrencies would be ‘extremely’ viable as a long-term payment solution.
However, this doesn’t mean there are no concerns. 23% worried about finding the right talent to work with crypto and 25% saw its environmental credentials as an issue.
Acknowledging these worries from finance leaders is crucial to crypto being adopted on a wider scale. As more people upskill in it, and more eco-friendly alternatives emerge, both of these will become less concerning.
3. The metaverse
On the face of it, the metaverse might seem like a passing fad, irrelevant to finance leaders. But they’re already considering how this virtual space can improve insight and strain on human resources. As with cryptocurrency, the bigger picture matters – CFOs need to be aware of the role skills and regulations will play. Finance leaders are largely aware of this. 54% say they’re actively developing training programmes based around the metaverse, while 49% are preparing for new regulations.
4. ESG Strategies
‘ESG’ stands for environmental, social and governance. The criteria is used to screen investments based on corporate policies and encourages companies to act responsibly.
Once only the responsibility of the Board of Directors, modern CFOs are seeing ESG factor more into their roles. According to Sage’s survey, 80% of UK CFOs have increased their involvement in these initiatives in the past year. There are also high levels of engagement with these programmes among finance leaders. 93% believing their companies’ ESG programmes are providing value for money.
However, preparedness for enhancing ESG varies across industries. While less than a third of non-profit finance leaders said they were ready, almost half agreed in e-commerce and retail. As social and environmental issues go from temporary trends to permanent concerns, CFOs in all industries must start considering how to improve.
Despite the above trends having an impact CFOs, a CFO’s role might still involve crunching numbers. But what separates forward-thinking from conventional are the other skills. Being savvy about how new trends and developments might affect their business means these CFOs are better poised to take opportunities, and weather disruption.
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