CFOs reimagine their roles to embrace responsibilities tied to security and privacy, cloud, supply chain, talent management and more
MENLO PARK, Calif., September 20, 2022 – Among the results of the 2022 Global Finance Trends Survey, conducted by global consulting firm Protiviti, is the finding that nearly half (45%) of CFOs and finance leaders are moving away from efficiency-based supply chain models (e.g., low-cost, just-in-time) to revenue assurance models that emphasize flexibility and resilience.
Further, the survey reveals that 72% of respondents’ finance operations experienced disruptions or delays because of supply chain challenges, pandemic-related impacts, and/or the effects of inflation in the past year. The majority (51%) of those that experienced such delays say they engaged a managed services provider or business process outsourcing firm to address the resulting challenges.
Top 10 Priorities
In the survey of 1,064 CFOs and vice presidents, directors and managers of finance, which was conducted globally in June and July 2022, participants ranked their priorities for the coming year. Specifically, the top 10 priorities for CFOs and VPs of finance are:
Notably, blockchain and smart contracts moved up in the top 10 list this year. CFOs and finance leaders may be employing these technologies as part of their approach to supply chain resiliency and innovation.
"This year’s survey findings confirm that CFOs continue to extend the value they deliver to the organization far beyond the boundaries of traditional finance and accounting activities, as they reimagine their roles and embrace responsibilities tied to supply chain, automation, analytics, ESG, leadership skills and more,” said Christopher Wright, global leader of Protiviti’s Business Performance Improvement practice. “Through recent tumultuous years, CFOs globally have been presented with opportunities to establish and stress-test their expanding strategic roles in real-time, which has helped them contribute to the dialog in the C-suite and boardroom.”
The Protiviti survey also found that ESG strategies and reporting take center stage – from increased focus on and frequency of ESG reporting to formal and documented DEI programs, CFOs and finance leaders are devoting more time, attention and resources to enterprise ESG initiatives. Of note, four in 10 finance organizations are incorporating ESG into more of their sourcing decisions, considering not just sustainability but also social issues.
CFOs are also addressing concerns about inflationary trends: for example, 35% of CFOs are assessing the need for new skills and talent both inside and outside of their organizations; 33% are balancing the risk of higher staff attrition against potential compensation increases; and 32% are refining and/or increasing scenario planning.
“More CFOs and finance leaders now realize that high-impact disruptions like interest rate volatility, trade wars, and Russia’s war on Ukraine have exposed the fragility of the global supply chain model,” said David Petrucci, a managing director and global leader of Protiviti’s Supply Chain and Operations practice. “CFOs are paying more attention to considerations such as how long suppliers can operate amid a catastrophic event and how long their own organizations can operate amid prolonged supply chain disruptions. It’s essential for them to look beyond traditional cost calculations by evaluating and monitoring supply chain reliability, responsiveness and resiliency.”
The survey results reflect responses from finance professionals worldwide at both public and private companies across a broad range of industries. In addition to presenting findings from respondents overall, the Protiviti survey report, titled "Reimagine,” compares results from respondents at the CFO and VP of finance levels with those at director and manager levels. Comparisons of the sometimes-marked differences between their responses by level provide additional insights for senior leadership to address.
Survey Resources Available
Key findings of the Protiviti 2022 Finance Trends Survey are available now for digital exploration on the firm’s website – click here to access. Also available on the site for complimentary download are a PDF of the full survey report, including recommended action items for CFOs, an infographic and audio commentaries from Protiviti’s finance consulting experts. On September 22 at 1:00 p.m. EDT, Protiviti will host the first of three complimentary 60-minute webinars to discuss the survey results and their implications, featuring Wright and Protiviti Managing Directors Kerry Buchar, Andrea Spinelli and Fran Maxwell. To attend the webinars, please register here.