The role of Chief Financial Officer (CFO), in a company is fast changing, making them co-pilots to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), according to a study undertaken by IFMR Graduate School of Business at Krea University and Dun & Bradstreet (D&B).
“From traditional CFO-led activities such as accounting and auditing, financial analysis and planning, investor relations, financial risk management, product pricing and regulatory compliance, CFOs now find themselves more involved in corporate strategy, organisational transformation, digitisation, enterprise risk management and ESG implementation, and they feel these would be focus areas for next five years,” the study showed.
As per the report, the biggest challenges for CFOs were availability of skilled person-power, broader stakeholder management and managing new-age roles driven largely by digitisation and sustainability.
The study, titled “The Future CFO: Changing Roles, Changing Goals”, captures shifting priorities, new focus areas and diverse skill sets of new-age CFOs, the author of the study said.
“Technology is fast becoming the language of business, and sustainability its underlying grammar. Rapid digitalisation and a sharper focus on ESG have triggered a renaissance in the CFO office,” Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Professional Learning at Krea University, said,
“Today’s CFOs play multiple roles—they are trusted partners to CEOs on not just financial but also strategic matters, conscience-keepers of boards in enhancing stakeholder trust, storytellers deriving hindsights, insights and foresights from financial data, and PE-minded investors strengthening core businesses with investments in next-gen start-ups,” he added.
“The relationship between a CEO and a CFO is critical for any business,” Preeta Misra, Senior Director, Dun & Bradstreet India, said. “Our study found that the ability to envision the business growth is the most important trait for a CFO.”