Are you ready for what lies ahead for CFOs? A new survey outlines some of the biggest issues CFOs will face in the future, and the skills they’ll need to handle those issues.
While CFOs will always need a strong grasp on core financial areas, they may need to expand their expertise in the future.
Current CFOs outlined the four biggest factors they feel will influence the roles of future finance chiefs and the four areas of expertise they’ll need to be successful in a recent survey conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
What to expect
Here are the four biggest factors that will influence the roles of future CFOs:
- Finance and fundamental knowledge. Whether it’s today, or 100 years from now, solid financial understanding will still be core of what makes a good CFO. Without it, the remaining influences will be that much more difficult to deal with. More than half of today’s finance chiefs have had six or more finance roles, and that type of breadth of knowledge is sure to come in handy.
- Risk management challenges. CFOs are anticipating a future business environment that will be high risk. New risks, like online reputational risk, will continue to affect their roles. What’s more, these newer risks can be difficult to calibrate and manage.
- More regulation. Think there’s too much regulation now? Just wait. Increases in regulation along with changes in reporting requirements that are expected to be a big part of the future. Track changes and proposed regs now to be ahead of them later.
- Technology and automation. It’s no surprise CFOs are expecting new and exciting advances in how they can use technology to make things run more smoothly for Finance. Plus, an increase in automation means savings in time and money.
What will you need?
What will future CFOs need to prepare for these challenges? Ninety-five percent of the finance chiefs surveyed agreed that experience in core finance areas and management accounting will still be paramount. But these four areas of experience will also be useful:
- Get strategic. A high risk business environment calls for strategy experts. That means being able to both formulate and execute winning strategies that’ll increase growth in what could be a volatile market.
- Make sense of the numbers. The CFOs surveyed expect businesses to rely more on insight and analytics to seek out new financial opportunities. And with better technology available to crunch those numbers, human insight will be invaluable.
- Learn to manage risk. Future CFOs will be expected to have risk management experience under their belts. It’ll hopefully lead to confidence and preparedness when it comes to understanding and handling financial risks – old and new.
- Make a deal. Merger and acquisition experience will help future CFOs build skills in change and project management. Plus, it will provide a background in structuring deals and project management.