Nearly a quarter of CFOs lag behind in technology integration

In financial directors In a recently released annual survey, CFOs across various industries were asked what their jobs could be made easier by advanced analytics, cloud technology or automation. While respondents agreed that it was valuable to collaborate with IT managers to leverage technology in accounting and bookkeeping tasks, their responses varied as to exactly where their organizations fit in the implementation of said technology.

According to the survey results, less than half (47%) of respondents said their organizations were implementing, at a minimum, new technology concepts in their solutions. Of this subgroup, only 45% (21% of total respondents) said they had fully adopted a solution and actively used it.

Delays in technology investments

When asked about the biggest challenges they face, one answer may indicate why many CFOs’ attention is not focused on technology.

“The biggest challenges I expect to face are having reliable access to growth capital in an environment where valuations are far from certain and changing supplier/manufacturer/ retailer,” wrote a CFO responding to the survey when discussing current challenges.

“When all parties operate under increased pressure from the business model, historical norms will quickly be abandoned,” the respondent continued. “If we’re not careful how we manage relationships, the trend could quickly shift from a strong business partnership framework (e.g. shared success) to an every man for himself mindset.”

Technology doesn’t seem like the immediate answer to many of the challenges CFOs face. While it may work by automating certain aspects of the accounting process or data analysis, even the best technology cannot solve supply chain problems or curb inflation.

Impact of inflation on business investment

As C-suites across industries look to strengthen themselves in the face of a possible recession, investments in areas other than operations or IT are sidelined. Respondents indicated that areas such as marketing (7%), sales (9%), HR (7%) and research development (8%) would be affected.

“The biggest challenge will be managing truly unknown economic headwinds,” one respondent wrote. “[There] seem to be mixed signals like never before. Pressure to raise wages to match the inflationary environment while dealing with a slowing economy. The uncertainty is higher now than at any time I can remember in the last 20 years.

Although a majority of CFOs (73%) believe the effects of inflation will not last longer than two years, 78% of respondents said inflation will have a negative impact on their company’s growth prospects. business in the future.

Where CFOs think technology is having an impact right now

Outside of finance, 46% of CFOs said operations would receive the most focus on technology, with only IT lagging behind with a significant number of responses at 21%.

As CFOs are now major FP&A players in the C-suite, those leveraging technology seem to be using it to free up their time to fulfill these functions. CFOs who are not bound by data analysis and accounting tasks can focus on forecasting and strategic planning of the organization from a digital perspective, a key part of the modern CFO.

A focus on integrating technology into operations and IT can also help ease ongoing employment issues. Automation can close staffing gaps, increase strategic employee engagement, and increase overall productivity by eliminating redundancies in support staff workflows.

When asked about supply chain issues, one respondent mentioned employee retention and engagement as a major issue. “Add to that the challenges of hiring and retaining staff,” the respondent said. “Especially in the skilled trades, and we struggle to deliver the excellent customer service we’re known for.”

About Shirley L. Kreger

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