A 2024 CFO Guide Economic Trends and Finance Functions

LONDON, ENGLAND, June 02, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — The latest report released by Leathwaite, “CFO Perspectives: 2024 and Beyond,” provides a deep dive into the future of finance as seen through the eyes of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) globally. This exploration into the next 12 to 24 months reveals how CFOs prepare to navigate economic challenges, technological advancements, and shifts in leadership dynamics within the finance function. With rising costs due to inflation, supply chain disruptions, global instability, and increasing debt repayments from higher interest rates, it’s clear why CFOs view economic challenges as the most significant threat to their organisations.

The focus on cost and cash flow management is a major challenge, yet it also presents a prime opportunity for finance leaders to deliver substantial value. Despite confidence in their abilities to make a meaningful impact, there’s a notable concern regarding organisational resilience against market fluctuations. Interestingly, only a small fraction of CFOs believe their organisations are well-prepared for such volatility, highlighting a critical opportunity for CFOs to showcase their strategic value and contribute to their success.

As finance departments brace for a period dominated by cost-centric decision-making, there’s a clear trend of doing more with less. With many CFOs expecting budgets to remain flat or decrease, the push towards enhancing efficiency with current assets becomes paramount. This setting could see CFOs find solace in anticipated advancements in data analytics and digitisation, offering a way to alleviate the pressure of maximising output with limited resources. However, the journey towards embracing these technological advancements is not without its hurdles. Many finance leaders admit to being in the initial stages of adopting data-driven decision-making, a stance that risks leaving them behind in an ever-evolving business landscape. This gap underscores the necessity for finance functions to prioritise digital proficiency and adapt quickly to harness the potential of new technologies.

The evolving perception of CFOs from mere functional experts to strategic business leaders marks a significant shift in the role of finance leadership. With many finance leaders already dedicating significant time to future business strategies, there’s an expectation for this trend to grow. This evolution in role and expectations highlights the importance of adaptability, accountability, and strategic vision in senior finance leadership. These traits are increasingly prioritised over traditional operational capabilities.

The ambition among many CFOs to ascend to CEO roles underscores the strategic importance of the finance function in driving organisational change. This aspiration is supported by the broader market, as evidenced by the significant proportion of CEOs in leading organisations who have advanced from CFO roles. Yet, the path to the top is fraught with challenges, including inadequate coaching and mentoring and ineffective succession planning. These obstacles highlight a broader issue within organisations that often resort to external talent acquisition rather than developing internal leadership pipelines.

Leathwaite’s comprehensive report illuminates the challenges and opportunities facing CFOs in the coming years and emphasises the critical role of finance leaders in navigating periods of economic uncertainty and technological disruption. By focusing on strategic leadership and adaptability, CFOs are well-positioned to steer their organisations towards growth and success in an increasingly complex corporate landscape.

Further insights and to access the complete report can be viewed here: https://insights.leathwaite.com/cfo-perspectives-2024-and-beyond/cfo-perspectives-2024-and-beyond.

Leathwaite has 25 years’ experience partnering with leaders to support executive recruitment of the best, and most diverse, talent. The team has expertise across a broad spectrum of executive recruitment that includes executive search, executive interim and data and insights.

Leathwaite knows the corporate officer and corporate function landscape better than anyone. It has been placing senior functional leaders for more than 20 years working with CEO and Board, Finance, Technology, Human Resources, Legal, risk and compliance, Operations, Marketing and more.

There should be no limits when it comes to executing a top-flight search. That’s why Leathwaite takes an industry agnostic approach. Leathwaite will find you the finest corporate officers, no matter the industry whether that’s Consumer Markets, Financial Services, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Industrial Markets, Private Equity and Venture Capital, Professional Services, Real Estate or Technology and Telecoms.

Successful executive recruitment requires an extensive network of global connections, something that the firm has been able to cultivate since it was first established in 1999 – locations today including Hong Kong, London, New York, Miami, Singapore, and Toronto.

To find out more information about executive recruitment visit https://www.Leathwaite.com

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