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HR management will play key role in upcoming CFO challenges

Dive Brief:

  • A new Grant Thornton LLP study shows that strategic planning is a top priority for 40% of chief financial officers (CFOs), according to a release. The 2017 CFO Survey found that CFOs are spending a third of their time advising organizations on strategic issues.
  • Only slightly more CFOs are conducting traditional financial functions such as increasing cash flow (45%) and cutting costs (41%). Srikant Sastry, Grant Thornton’s national managing principal of Advisory Services, told Business Wire that today’s financial chiefs are both strategists and scorekeepers.
  • The study also found that CFOs’ other priorities are risk management using analytics (70%); technology growth, including managing costs (51%); improving operations (70%); and mergers and acquisitions (22%).

Dive Insight:

Many of the CFOs strategies in the coming year focus heavily in areas that CHROs also have a stake in. Not only do both need to be digital-savvy, but both positions are calling for a solid blend of powerful data gathering and empathetic management of people. For any HR leaders still struggling to gain a foothold in the C-suite, they can reveal their expertise in such areas like people management during mergers, for example.

The DNA of the CFO, a global study of 769 financial professionals, found that financial professionals — accountants, financial managers and auditors — need team-building and leadership skills for a successful rise into the c-suite. HR leaders are largely responsible for running such programs, and can communicate their importance to financial leadership, too.


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