The CFO Playbook

4 trends CFOs need to be aware of in 2022

24 January 2022   |   13 Minute Read

The role of the CFO is anything but static as financial leaders rise to the demand of modern work. Staying informed about what’s top of mind for other CFOs will not only help you feel less alone, it helps you take on the challenges of the year.

Steve Gallucci, Global & US CFO Program Leader at Deloitte, has his fingers on the pulse of pressing issues for CFOs. Deloitte’s CFO Program delivers forward-thinking insights for every stage of a CFO’s career through data-driven research and cutting edge resources. It was developed to offer CFOs and aspiring CFOs a comprehensive go-to resource for personal career success, and Steve brings over 30 years of experience in audit and advisory work to the role.

‘What we hear time and again…from the CFO community is there is an insatiable desire for CFOs to talk to other CFOs.’

We interviewed Steve on The CFO Playbook podcast, where he shared the results of the 4Q CFO Signals Survey, which includes the latest insights from over 100 CFO respondents.

1. The future of work is here

The pandemic has accelerated trends that have already been impacting CFOs and their workplaces.

Steve believes the last two years have served as a crystal ball for the future of modern work. It’s allowed CFOs to get super clear on their priorities in order to keep up with demand going forward.

‘There is a huge desire on the part of CFO to think about the capabilities that exist within their current finance organisation. And [to question] are those the types of capabilities that are going to meet their needs in the future?’

Whether you’re helping your team acclimate to remote work or freeing up their time with automation, it’s important to embrace the many benefits of the changing workplace.

2. CFOs are investing in technology

The 4Q21 CFO Insights Survey reports that a vast majority (92%) of CFOs see opportunities in embedding technologies and automation into their organisations’ operations.

Steve stresses that CFO technology expectations have risen:

‘There is a constant demand on the part of business unit leaders to have information that is available faster and is available to them on a real-time basis.’

As you implement new technology, make sure you have the talent in place to optimise it.

3. CEOs want CFOs to be strategists and catalysts

The modern CFO is a business partner to other leaders in the company.

The CFO Program identifies four faces of the CFO as strategist, catalyst, operator, and steward. Steve explains that historically the CFO was mainly seen as an operator and steward, taking control of the financial operations of the company. Today, the role looks different.

‘What we’re seeing now is much more background around, say investment banking, business unit leadership, because CEOs don’t want their CFO just to be the operator/steward. They want their CFO to be the strategist and catalyst.’

One of the best ways to grow into the role of strategist is to be an empathetic leader who understands the challenges of the organisation.

4. Talented finance professionals are in demand

CFOs are always on the lookout for top-tier talent, but with the ‘great resignation’ upon us, hiring and retention is more pressing than ever.

Steve shared that the 4Q21 CFO Signals survey underlined that hiring and talent is a top focus for CFOs.

‘An underlying attribute that [CFOs] want out of their finance teams is agility. They need people to be able to understand multiple aspects of a finance domain.’

Shaping the right team for finance is a two-way street; hiring and mentorship goes hand in hand.

Look to other CFOs for guidance

Just like CFOs shouldn’t work in a silo within the finance department, they should seek out CFOs in their network to learn from.

Here on The CFO Playbook, we’re dedicated to understanding the needs of and demands on the modern CFO. If you’re looking for direction, we offer weekly insights from CFOs that will help you navigate your journey.

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