Deloitte recently published a report with the summary line, “After a tough year, CFOs express increased optimism and expectations for economic growth.” We wanted to share the report with those in our community of finance leaders so that you can measure your own outlook, needs, and expectations against those of your peers. The report identifies shifts in thinking necessary to succeeding as a strategic CFO in seven key areas.In it's CFO Signals™: Q1 2021 report, Deloitte found:
- CFOs are reporting that the last year has brought higher demands of them and their teams from executive leadership and they’ve seen a broadening in their areas of responsibility.
- CFOs report a more optimistic view of the economy in the next 12 months.
- They exhibit greater optimism about the financial prospects of their own organizations.
- They show a marked increase in their appetite for risk taking in the coming months.
- Most CFOs think many of the changes to where people work (remote vs. on-site) will continue after the pandemic eases.
- Most believe travel expenditures will continue to remain lower than pre-pandemic levels.
- They identify FP&A, management reporting, and the controllership function as the three main areas in which they’d like to see improvement.
As a curator and integrator of accounting technologies, we found the sections on what functions CFOs would most like to improve and which skillsets and expertise they most desire to add to their teams especially interesting. Sixty three percent of respondents said they’d like to improve their FP&A function and capabilities. Nearly half indicated they’d like to improve their management reporting. (Keep in mind that they were able to provide up to 3 responses to the question, so the percentages don’t add up to 100 percent.)
When it came to the desired skillsets CFOs would like to add or strengthen on their teams, respondents could write in their answers. Nearly half said they’d like to add data analytics and forecasting capabilities. About a quarter of respondents mentioned adding technology, digital, and automation skills and capabilities to their staff.
These two sections on what CFOs would like to see highlight three main topics near and dear to us:
1. Budgeting and FP&A
We have shared a lot of information about strategic corporate finance, budgeting, FP&A, what-if scenario modeling, and proactive planning, and I encourage you to dig into those topics in more detail. From an FP&A technology standpoint, AcctTwo has chosen Sage Intacct Budgeting & Planning (SIBP) as one of the key budgeting technologies we provide to our customers and on which we run our own business. It is integrated with Sage Intacct’s core financial management system and we see Sage Intacct investing heavily in its roadmap. If you have questions about either process or technology around budgeting, planning, and FP&A, we’re here to help.
The second two topics are very much intertwined. First, organizations need the right processes mapped into the right technologies to capture the data they need for better reporting and insights. Next, they need their business systems integrated so that data can flow automatically from one system to another, and so, ideally, the financial management system houses both financial and operational data and acts as the system of record for the organization.
Finally, companies and nonprofits need the right reporting tools to surface and calculate the metrics that matter to the organization, in real time. The first two pillars – automating data capture and integrating business systems – support the real star of the show – the insights and intelligence that come from having the right data.
A great industry-specific example of this is AcctTwo’s SaaS Intelligence, a reporting solution which automatically capture, analyzes, calculates, and categorizes SaaS and subscription business metrics so that finance leaders, executives, and investors see the real metrics that matter to the business and demonstate growth potential. We’re excited to take this same approach to other industries, such as faith-based nonprofits as well as professional and home services companies in the future.
To learn more about how AcctTwo supports CFOs and improves finance and accounting for organizations in a variety of industries, read our eBook, “How Can You Transform Finance & Accounting into a Strategic Business Asset?" Or contact us directly to start the conversation.