In November of this year, Deloitte held its annual CFO Vision Conference, where CFOs from around the world gathered to attend workshops, debates and sessions focusing on the challenges faced by CFOs. When planning for the future of a company, the CFO’s role is predicted to change considerably in 2014.CFOs Struggle to Find Balance
On top of monitoring financial outlook, measuring KPIs, and reducing losses, more CFOs are now being asked to take an active role in helping companies innovate for the future. Specifically, Deloitte’s CFO Vision Conference found that 51% of the CFOs attending the annual conference are being asked to “play a key role in evaluating, financing and driving innovation in their companies,” according to a recent press release. Since most CFOs have only played a preliminary role in the past, many are struggling to find balance.
Changes Facing CFOs in 2014
Chief Financial Officers are looking ahead to changes in 2014. Listed here are just a few takeaways from this year’s conference.
- Focus on Expansion. Many businesses are focused on expansion. Whether expansion occurs within their market or to new markets entirely, CFOs will be asked to take a more active role in helping companies expand their service, products, and lines of business with a focus on long-term growth.
- Return on Innovation Investment. The investment in innovation has been a point of contention for CFOs, as a true return on investment is not quickly seen, if ever. CFOs have identified the need to look beyond pricing and profit and include an analysis of supply chain and production when investing in innovation.
- Plan for Better Performance. A common theme for CFOs in 2014 will be improving performance within their companies. Some companies are looking ahead to cloud computing technologies as a viable method of performance improvement, while other CFOs are adapting to a company-wide approach.
The Game Plan
In addition to their strategic roles within the company, CFOs may need to expand their focus to all departments in order to accurately identify and analyze performance improvement indicators and help companies effectively invest in innovation.
Has your company altered your responsibilities as CFO? How are you handling it?