Looking ahead to 2014, Chief Financial Officers will face challenges in several areas. In this post-recession economy, revenue growth and not just profitability are essential to creating value for shareholders.Here are three key areas that will challenge CFOs as they approach the New Year:
Keeping up with New Technology
No one wants to be left behind when it comes to new technology. A key challenge for CFOs in the coming year will be to not only keep up with, but to lead the way in leveraging new technologies like cloud computing, social media, and mobile technologies that customers demand. Boosting investment in digital technologies at a time of post-recession may not seem like a wise decision, but being left behind is a sure way to decrease your profits. It is imperative that CFOs understand the risk-return profile for new technology.
CFOs now need to ensure that their organizations are able to respond to all new government regulations including the Affordable Care Act and financial reporting standards. Streamlining benefits and making sure that all current insurance policies meet the Affordable Care Act standards have fallen under the responsibilities of many new CFOs. There is also mounting pressure to keep up with environmental regulations and fair labor practices across all countries that the corporations do business in.
CFOs also need to understand and be able to analyze supply and demand forces worldwide. With many CEOs now demanding real-time tracking, CFOs need to keep up with current technologies to be able to provide this information to CEOs and shareholders.
Many CFOs are at the head of their organizations. They are more than trusted advisors to their CEOs; they are also heading up financial planning and analysis and product development. There has never been a time that CFOs have been more visible in the structure of corporations. CFOs are now responsible for building stronger relationships with their counterparts, including being instrumental in planning for new IT developments.
CFOs have also had to assume the management of such critical facilities and functions as manufacturing and warehouses, human resources, and technology.
With all these changes and challenges that face CFOs in 2014, what do you think the challenges will be in 2015?