The Top Business Priorities of Australia’s CFOs, Revealed


Leader Survive 2 min

74% of CFOs reported they felt that their teams were prepared to deliver financial planning and forecasting in 2021 despite ongoing economic uncertainty.

In 2020, well-defined forecasting and capital allocation strategies and growth plans had to be rewritten overnight.

Many digitally-minded CFOs became the central pillar for critical decision making and organisational agility – while others perhaps struggled to keep up with relentless change.

The most significant barriers financial leaders face are legacy mindsets, a lack of skilled resources, and an unclear technology strategy

At the CFO Edge, ADAPT’s Director of Strategic Research, Matt Boon, shared findings from a recent survey of 120 CFOs to highlight the collective challenges and priorities of leading CFOs across Australia.

To unlock the full keynote video and access an entire catalogue of ADAPT’s expert presentations, localised research, case studies, downloadable data and community interviews, speak with a Senior Research Consultant today.

 

Transcription:

We wanted to get a sense of how you felt your team is prepared in delivering on particular expectations in 2021.

The finance team during the last 14 months grew quite significantly in many different ways as well. What that led to was an expectation or a shift in terms of the capabilities we have within our finance organisations.

When we think about how prepared we feel our team is, we’re very comfortable in traditional areas of financial planning and forecasting. We feel our teams are pretty well prepared to deliver on expectations related to that. Business continuity planning, we feel we’re very well prepared with that.

I hosted a couple of digital roundtables last week, and I commented that business continuity planning, as we knew it, is dead.”

If we think about business continuity planning, it’s typically for fairly short-term issues. We identify the issue. We react, we remediate, we go back to normal. But what we’ve seen is it’s much more about business resilience.

How can we remain resilient in the face of ongoing challenges and ongoing adversity? Rethinking the whole concept of business continuity planning, I think, is quite critical.

We’re not necessarily out of the woods yet with this pandemic from what we see in other parts of the world. That will continue to impact how we operate and how we engage.

We need to really make we remain resilient from a business point of view, particularly when it comes to overseas suppliers, overseas partners, call centres and the like. We need to expect that there will be continued disruption to many organisations in other parts of businesses we may deal with around the world.

An area I see coming up in importance is legal and regulatory compliance and governance. Only about half of you feel you’re well prepared for that.”

Yet we see within a lot of the surveys we’ve been conducting across Australia’s technology and business suite that is a major initiative and focus for most organisations.

We probably need to think about how we can lift the skills in that area, in terms of some of those areas where I think we’re low in our expectations and capabilities.

Improve business performance metrics. We talk about business alignment. It’s about helping the business understand where we’re performing effectively, where we’re not performing and how we can improve business performance metrics is quite low.

 

Business model transformation go hand in hand. We think about how we can transform the business based on understanding how the business is performing. Those are two areas where we probably need a bit more focus within our organisations as well.

We mentioned that creating a data-driven organisation was our number one priority. We see there that creating data-driven insights for business growth and profitability is quite low in terms of the capabilities we have within our teams.”

That will lead to a real focus on how we can develop our existing staff and our existing capabilities to help us deliver on that goal to become a data-driven organisation.

To unlock the full keynote video and access an entire catalogue of ADAPT’s expert presentations, localised research, case studies, downloadable data and community interviews, speak with a Senior Research Consultant today.

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