"Change is evident in almost every business sector, but the evolution of the CFO is happening at such an accelerated pace - its both promising and a little concerning. "
Mark Pullen, CEO, Xledger
‘The future CFO’ research conducted by Xledger, the cloud finance software provider, has found that a resounding 99% of CFOs have seen their roles evolve over the past three years, 80% of which said that it has evolved significantly. Whilst promising, 91% say that they are feeling pressure as a result of this evolution.
Yet, 91% are still carrying out repetitive and manual tasks as part of their main role and for 52% this takes up the majority of their week (20 hours+). It’s not only a lack of efficiency that CFO’s are currently contending with, when asked about their ability to forecast ahead, 37% said that they can only see up to three months ahead. A worrying 8% said that they can only forecast up to one month ahead.
The additional responsibilities will mean that they have ample opportunity to affect company growth with responsibilities such as ‘modernise the finance strategy and processes’, ‘provide accurate learnings from the business’ need to pivot during the pandemic’ and ‘provide data driven forecasts and accurate insights’.
But some of the new responsibilities also fall outside of the finance function such as ‘company culture and human leadership’, ‘connecting the business and identifying silos/inefficiencies’, ‘providing accurate learnings from business diversion’ and ‘company ESG efforts’ all cited by a large number of CFOs.
Mark Pullen, CEO at Xledger comments, “Change is evident in almost every business sector, but the evolution of the CFO is happening at such an accelerated pace - it’s both promising and a little concerning. The fact that the CFO role is evolving is encouraging on the whole with the number of responsibilities in their remit expanding - and some of these away from the finance function – providing greater opportunities to lead change in their organisations. What’s concerning is the pressure that the vast majority are experiencing.
“It seems that the root cause of this pressure can be summarised as a need to harness the right technology and tools to do their job. That 52% are spending the majority of the week doing manual tasks and 37% can forecast only three months ahead highlights a lack of automation and ability to harness their data effectively. It seems we’re still in the early stages of the well documented evolution of the CFO but with these teething problems, we have far to go.’
The study has illustrated some of the important challenges that need to be overcome for the CFO role to evolve effectively. But advancements in cloud and automation technologies bring new ways to enhance roles and tackle the burden of repetitive tasks.
Xledger is a one-stop solution automating tasks across expenses, approvals, payments and reporting meaning that the finance team, all budget holders and senior stakeholders can log in to one place to obtain a true view of the data. It provides the solution to many disparate and manual methods used in accounting today and brings together distributed and multi-entity organisations to leverage economies of scale. Xledger was purpose built for the cloud from the ground up and designed to function for optimum performance, allowing organisations to experience the full fruits of the cloud ERP revolution.
Xledger’s ‘Future of the CFO study’ is available to download at https://xledger.com/uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2021/11/future-cfo-report-digital.pdf?utm_source=PR&utm_medium=whitepaper&utm_campaign=content
More information, visit Xledger https://xledger.com/uk/