KPMG 5 Challenges for CFOs in 2017

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In January of this year, Klynveld, Peat, Marwick, and Goerdeler (a.k.a. KPMG), the venerable accounting experts, produced an interesting and concise article on some challenges for CFOs for this year 2017. Given that most readers have compressed time schedules, the article has a series of quick and insightful observations that we think our CFO readers will appreciate, if not reinforce their current observations. Indeed, KPMG regularly contributes a plethora of interesting and useful business metric related topics.

  1. Supporting growth

According to KPMG Global CEO Outlook, growth is a top priority for the CEOs in the next three years. They rely on CFOs to help them to drive the growth strategy from mergers and acquisitions to geographic expansion and organic growth.

  1. Changing regulatory burden into a competitive advantage

The Regulatory environment will have the most influence on the future of the CFOs, but this should not be viewed negatively. According to the KPMG survey among business leaders of the world´s leading enterprises, 61% of them see the regulation as an opportunity to derive competitive advantage, and 51% of CEOs see it as an opportunity to utilize data analytics. CEOs, therefore, do not rely on CFOs only to ensure that the business adapts to changing regulations but also to get as much value for the business as possible in the process.

  1. Data processing and analysis

Applying financial data to achieve profitable growth is considered as a major strategic value a CFO can bring to an organization, say 85% of CEOs. Strengthening the alignment between financial planning and corporate strategy will likely be one of the CFOs top five priorities going forward. CEOs expect their CFOs to take the initiative to apply financial data analysis to explore new products, markets, and channels. In addition, CEOs believe the CFO should be able to understand how financial and HR data can impact each other.

  1. Technology and innovation

Application of new IT solutions and cutting edge technology is another area with significant influence on gaining competitive advantage. Cloud-based solutions help automate processes. Integrated data and analytics help identify opportunities for profitable growth. Digital and mobile technologies help to improve decisions.

Therefore it is not surprising that 70% of CEOs say technology will have the greatest effect on the future role of the CFO. CEOs expect them to explore and implement the best new technology.

  1. Maintaining and investing in talent

Almost all CEOs (97%) said that attracting and retaining top finance talent is part of the role of the CFO.  However, only 33% of CEOs give their CFOs a passing grade in talent management. This area is therefore expected to evolve very significantly in near future. 

 To view the full article:


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