• Register
Return to: Home > News > Assurance and Accounting > USA CFOs face challenges as their work moves from compliance to strategy

USA CFOs face challenges as their work moves from compliance to strategy

Chief financial officers (CFOs) in the USA are spending over a third of their time as strategic advisers and going beyond their traditional financial management roles, according to a Grant Thornton survey.

The 2017 CFO Survey found that 40% of CFOs identified strategic planning as one of their top priorities, as well as the expected cash flow increase (45%) and reducing costs (41%).

The survey revealed that around two thirds of CFOs said that managing risk a key concern, saying that they want to merge risk management strategy with their business strategy. Additionally, 70% expect to increase their use of analytics to measure risk management in the next two years, and to help manage cyber threats.

CFOs focus on the digital transformation initiative, outlining the top challenges for future technology as managing costs (51%) maintenance of legacy systems 41% and business integration (40%). A growing number of CFOs clearly expect IT spending to grow in the coming year, but are being held back by legacy systems.

Nearly half (46%) of CFOs believe their IT platforms inhibit their organisation’s ability to operate effectively. However, many found they cannot focus on the digital transformation because they are spending so much money maintaining aging technology. Also, 61% of the largest companies plan to an investment focus on IT, compared with 40% of small companies.

“CFOs face an uphill battle when it to comes to adopting technologies like cloud computing and advanced analytics,” Mike Ward, national managing principal of business consulting and technology, Grant Thornton said.

Operational improvement was the biggest area of investment focus according to 70% of respondents. Also, a quarter of respondents revealed that their companies are considering mergers and acquisitions in the next 12 months.

The survey was conducted between November 2016 and January 2017 and included responses from 404 CFOs and senior financial executives across the United States.

A summary of the CFO Survey can be found here.

An infographic of the data from the thoughts of the CFOs can be found here.

 

Top Content

    Brazil: regulation and technology form basis for recovery

    Opportunities in the capital markets and the ever-growing influence of technology are expected to have a significant impact on the Brazilian accounting profession over the next 12 months, writes Paul Golden.

    read more

    Mentoring support and the opportunity to delegate

    Jon Lisby will be known to many from his former role as CEO of Kreston International. Here, he explains the background to his new venture, Global Alliance Advisory Services (GAAS), and how he aims to offer support to alliance CEOs.

    read more

    Global by name, global by nature

    Stephen Heathcote became chief executive officer of PrimeGlobal on 1 June 2019. Robin Amlôt met him to discuss the various new challenges that he has taken on, and his ambitions for the association.

    read more

    ARGA team, assemble!

    The new top team has been named that will see in root-and-branch reform at the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) as it transforms into the Audit, Reporting and Governance Authority (ARGA). Will the new duo be as dynamic as some are hoping? Robin Amlôt reports.

    read more

    CORONAVIRUS TIMELINE: REACTIONS FROM THE ACCOUNTANCY PROFESSION

    As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the world, the International Accounting Bulletin and The Accountant will be collating all the latest news and updates from the profession on the pandemic’s impact.

    read more
Privacy Policy

We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.