Top Priorities for CFOs in 2024
As we enter a new year, CFOs are tackling a new set of priorities. From prioritising sustainability to leveraging the power of AI and modernising the finance function, we explore how these priorities are shaping the financial landscape of 2024.
In today’s evolving financial landscape, the roles of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and Finance leaders are more dynamic than ever before. As we move into 2024, the priorities and challenges facing CFOs have shifted. From embracing more sustainable ways of conducting business to navigating new and emerging disruptive technologies, CFOs are now at the forefront of implementing business strategies that not only ensure stability and drive growth but also foster innovation and resilience in an ever-changing environment. Below we shed some light on some of the top trends and priorities for CFOs in 2024.
Modernising The Finance Function
According to Gartner, through 2025 more than 40% of financial roles will be either new or significantly reshaped due to finance technology. Over the past few years, new technology advancements have offered CFOs a wealth of tools and capabilities to help enhance different areas of the finance department. As more technologies continue to emerge and offer new and smarter ways to work, CFOs must ensure that they are leveraging the right technologies to modernise the finance function, ones that align with the company’s long-term objectives. While the future digital tools of the finance function will be different to what exists today, CFOs must focus on innovation and strategic planning to have an effective technology roadmap to ensure they can maximise capabilities while minimising disruption over time. Additionally, having a modern finance function allows for greater adaptability, enabling CFOs to respond to market changes or emerging risks more quickly. A modern finance function can also appeal to top talent helping with overall talent retention.
Increased Focus On Sustainability
ESG and sustainability have risen to the forefront of CFO’s priorities due to several factors. Firstly there is a new emphasis on ESG and sustainability reporting with the EU introducing new legislation requiring large companies to report on corporate sustainability in 2024. This transparency is important because it forces many businesses to integrate sustainability into core business strategies. Analysing financial data and impact along with non-financial data such as carbon emissions can help companies identify opportunities and mitigate risks by using more sustainable practices. Further, with consumers having a heightened awareness and concern around environmental issues, organisations that can demonstrate sustainable business processes are likely to improve the company’s reputation and gain a competitive advantage. As we move into 2024, many CFOs already recognise that sustainability goes beyond how the company is perceived but is a necessity for long-term viability.
Integrating Artificial Intelligence
Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can empower finance teams. According to Gartner’s research in the CFO perspective that was included in the 2023 CEO Survey report, when asked which new technology will most significantly impact their industry over the next 3 years, both CEOs and CFOs chose AI as their top pick. With AI’s surge in popularity in 2023, it is unsurprising that CFOs are predicting that it will be influential and in line with this, CFOs will have to prioritise AI in 2024. The integration of AI and RPA into the finance function can significantly enhance efficiency by automating manual tasks, from streamlining data entry to generating complex reports, AI can help deliver time savings, reduce error and allow finance teams to focus on more high-value tasks. Further, AI can play a crucial role in data analysis, improving accuracy and identifying patterns in large data sets to deliver important insights that may not have been easily identifiable before. This in turn can help drive better and more strategic decision-making for the company. AI can also play a role in enhancing risk management and security with some AI tools having the ability to detect unusual activity in financial transactions that might indicate fraud or example. While the possibilities of AI may seem endless, there are some clear benefits it can offer to the finance department and those who do not take advantage risk of falling behind the competition.
If you would like to learn more about how to modernise your finance function in line with your strategic priorities, get in touch to speak to an expert.