Does it seem like the CFO has a hand in more areas of the business nowadays? It’s not your imagination. Brainyard’s survey of over 160 finance officers in small-to-midsize-companies across 23 industries before the COVID-19 crisis showed that CFOs are being pulled in an inordinate amount of directions.
When asked about their top concern, “juggling too many responsibilities” came out on top: 54% of those surveyed said that they were balancing 11-15 major responsibilities. The challenge outweighed even managing cash flow:
While there are many potential causes for this balancing act, technology appears to be one of the main culprits. Data protection and cybersecurity are increasingly top-of-mind for CFOs. Yet the advanced technologies – AI (opens in new tab), machine learning, blockchain (opens in new tab) and IoT – touted as the remedy for finance’s woes seem to have significantly less traction. Close to half of respondents had no plans to implement any advanced technology in the next three years.
Worries over a lack of organizational expertise, concerns over upfront costs and uncertainty over compatibility with legacy systems and security were listed as the reasons preventing advance technology investment. Instead, from a technology perspective, CFOs said they’re prioritizing better, faster reporting and increased data visibility.