At Vantage, we’re constantly picking the brains of the CFOs we work with everyday. Because CFOs are often in the trenches and can’t always interact with other CFOs outside their industry vertical, we see helping you connect the dots of industry trends and news as one way we can add value. It’s about giving you a better vantage point.
That’s why our curiosity was piqued as we read the latest insights from Deloitte’s CFO Signals survey from the second quarter. Deloitte surveyed 113 CFOs from companies with revenues in excess of $1 billion, 71 percent of which were publicly traded companies, and across North America.
Here are three findings we found particularly interesting, and think matter to the direction of your finance organization.
1. Growth is the new name of the game.
The survey found that the CFOs are largely interested in “pursuing opportunities” rather than “limiting risk.” From our perspective that’s a fascinating finding, especially given that earning expectations declined among U.S.-based CFOs declined. What this signifies to us is that a growth perspective is truly becoming a dominant perspective for many CFOs.
2. Cost reduction is key, but not at the expense of revenue growth and performance management.
As always, CFOs say that their CEOs want them to be engaged in cost cutting as a chief priority. But what we found particularly interesting is that performance management and revenue growth trailed closely behind. In fact, according to the report, “CFOs say they are being asked to address all three of these areas in concert.”
3. CFOs are increasingly looked to as an organization’s visionary leaders.
As we’ve written before, the days of only number crunching are over for CFOs. Now more than ever, CFOs are being tasked with executive functions such as building a solid workforce, according to the report: “We asked CFOs’ for their best insights around building a strong finance function, and resoundingly they say executive leadership is critical—that CFOs
need to do their due diligence in establishing the vision, goals, standards, and
culture that will define the organization’s role and success factors.”
One of the key observations Deloitte makes is that CFOs need to build a quality team, including team members with “partnering ability”—in other words, the ability to support and augment the already busy CFO, who is likely inundated with more responsibilities than ever before.
What’s clear from this survey: CFOs need to adopt a growth-minded perspective, and find ways to implement ways to maintain the growth they achieve. Cost-cutting, while the number one priority for CFOs over decades, is really becoming a means of facilitating growth.
The smartest CFOs will find ways to implement strategies that not only control costs, but catalyze growth. How will you make that happen, and who will you partner with?
Question:How will these insights change your direction of leadership as a CFO? Do you agree or disagree that CFO’s roles are growing in scope?