Accenture Study – CFOs Are the Significant Facilitators of Digital Strategy In 2021

Accenture Study - CFOs Are the Significant Facilitators of Digital Strategy In 2021-01

CFOs have become the catalysts of innovative business strategies in this digital era – reveals a recent study.

With the pandemic continuing to challenge enterprises globally, the role of chief financial officers (CFOs) has moved beyond the economic leaders for businesses. The increased digitalization has now pushed CFO as the architects of business value as well as the “catalysts of digital strategies”, reveals a recent Accenture study.

Nearly 72% of the CFOs worldwide reported that they have an ultimate say in the appropriate technology direction in an enterprise. Certainly, financial leaders are broadening and transforming their business roles. Besides COVID-19, some other peripheral challenges include digitalization, market dynamics, and fast-evolving CXs.

Also Read: New Digital Transformation Realities for CIOs in 2021

Currently, CFOs are often asked to ensure that their company mitigates the cyber risks rightly by addressing various performances, including environmental, social, and governance (ESG). In fact, security challenges faced by their organization are also a critical aspect of their role.

As explained by Christian Campagna, Senior MD and global lead of the CFO & Enterprise Value practice of Accenture – “The role of the CFO has further evolved beyond serving as the finance lead to becoming a ‘digital steward’ of their organization. Increasingly, CFOs are focused on collecting and interpreting data for key business decisions and enabling strategy beyond the borders of the finance function.”

Confronted with new challenges prompted by the global pandemic, financial heads across companies must execute their business strategies at a breakthrough speed. This will undoubtedly help in creating breakout value as well as a success that can be realized across the organization.

According to the statistics, an elite group of CFOs (17%) has transformed their responsibilities effectively, resulting in positive changes in their organizations’ top-line growth and bottom-line profitability. CFOs who exemplify can their new roles and operate efficiently almost double their EBITDA CAGR.

This figure ranges from 3.8% to 6.9% over the next three years while increasing their CAGR of revenue from 2.7% to 3.0%. Moreover, nearly 60% of traditional finance tasks are now automated. This exceeds what CFOs projected in 2018 – when the business leaders claimed nearly 45% of finance tasks would be automated by 2021.

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Talking about business value architects, almost 86% of CFOs have increased the scope and frequency of collaboration with the C-suite partners. This is possible by leveraging their analytics, visibility, and access to data, as well as insights into the enterprise risk. Many have also introduced new metrics to leverage financial collaboration.

As per the study, almost 68% of the surveyed CFOs said finance takes the ultimate responsibility for ESG performance in their enterprise. However, some 34% cited concern about data privacy and security breaches as a primary barrier – preventing them from realizing their overall potential as a driver of strategic modification.

In this context, Aneel Delawalla, MD and Enterprise Value Targeting lead at Accenture Strategy, cited – “Leading the enterprise in the face of disruption means that CFOs must expand their technology responsibilities and digital skills if they are to be truly responsive to the needs of their entire organization.”

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