It's become a job that may be too big for any one individual to do well, given all the responsibilities and the incredible contrast between the day-to-day tactical controllership functions, and the very long-term, strategic, executive functions. It's more important than ever for the CFO to not just worry about their role, but also the team that they surround themselves with.
The chief financial officer (CFO) role is being disrupted by digital; data; risk and uncertainty; regulation and stakeholder scrutiny. CFOs who don’t proactively define their role in response to these major forces could compromise their ability to shape strategy with the CEO and drive the innovation necessary for sustainable growth.
This is part one of The DNA of the CFO study. Read the rest of the series:
To learn more, download part 1 of our report here (pdf).
In EY’s first The DNA of the CFO study, conducted in 2010, we painted a picture of a role that had already broadened to encompass not only traditional financial skills, but also more strategic and market-facing responsibilities. In a 2016 CFO research study, we found that change accelerated more rapidly in six years than many would have thought possible.
We surveyed 769 finance leaders across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific from December 2015 to February 2016, and conducted one-on-one interviews with 21 CFOs.
CFOs are responding to these pressures in different ways. Our research shows that it is increasingly difficult to decode the DNA of the finance leader, with profiles and job descriptions becoming more and more diverse. Roles vary depending on the disruptions CFOs and their organizations face, as well as their company, sector, geography and personal strengths.