91% of CFOs feel under pressure as their job roles change

The vast majority - 91 per cent - of chief financial officers (CFOs) feel under pressure because of changes in their job roles over the past three years, according to research from cloud software provider Xledger.

Almost all - 99 per cent - of CFOs said that their job has changed significantly in the past few years according to the research, and 91 per cent said that they are feeling pressure due to this evolution.

The research also highlighted the burden of mundane tasks on CFOs; 91 per cent are still carrying out repetitive and manual tasks as part of their main role and this takes up over 20 hours a week for 52 per cent of them.

Ability to forecast ahead is another issue troubling CFOs according to Xledger; 37 per cent said that they can only see up to three months ahead, and 8 per cent said that they can only forecast up to one month ahead.

Many CFOs cited emerging responsibilities outside of the traditional finance function in the research. These included ‘company culture and human leadership’, ‘connecting the business and identifying silos and inefficiencies’, ‘providing accurate learnings from business diversion’, and ‘company ESG efforts.’

“Change is evident in almost every business sector, but the evolution of the CFO is happening at such an accelerated pace - it’s both promising and a little concerning,” said Mark Pullen, chief executive at Xledger. “The fact that the CFO role is evolving is encouraging on the whole with the number of responsibilities in their remit expanding - and some of these away from the finance function – providing greater opportunities to lead change in their organisations.”

“What’s concerning is the pressure that the vast majority are experiencing. It seems that the root cause of this pressure can be summarised as a need to harness the right technology and tools to do their job. That 52 per cent are spending the majority of the week doing manual tasks and 37 per cent can forecast only three months ahead highlights a lack of automation and ability to harness their data effectively.”

He added: “It seems we’re still in the early stages of the well documented evolution of the CFO but with these teething problems, we have far to go.”

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