CFO role 'overhyped and full of contradictions'

Being a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is 'overhyped and full of contradictions', a new report by the FSN Modern Finance Forum suggests.

It's a good report, though, built upon a survey of 46,000 members of the FSN Modern Finance Forum on LinkedIn, and considered the biggest of its kind.

According to the report, CFOs are being held back by their more traditional roles, such as being a financial steward, from focusing on creating additional value, or managing their team.

More than eight in 10 (81 per cent) of senior finance professionals believe CFOs will be more influential in decision making, but a third of CFOs are still making decisions based on gut feelings, instead of hard data.

Besides, they are also having a hard time mastering the volume and variety of business data:

“On the one hand CFOs of the future expect to be more influential in decision-making, technology and data governance but on the other hand around a third rely on gut feel rather than hard data, two thirds admit they have not mastered the volume and variety of business data and a similar number neglect innovation and process improvement,” said Gary Simon, FSN’s chief executive officer and the leader of the Modern Finance Forum.

“Disappointingly more than half of all CFOs say they don’t spend enough time on business partnering,” he added.

Three quarters of senior finance professionals believe CFOs will play a greater role in innovation, but currently, they simply can’t find the time to do so. What’s more, 72 per cent of senior finance professionals believe more CFOs will be responsible for tech, but a third is currently struggling to pull the maximum of what’s currently in use.

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