The challenges facing CFOs today are multifold. On the one hand they need to manage the performance of their organizations, and on the other hand they need to leverage quality management information to support business decisions. As if this were not enough, their roles are further complicated by external circumstances such as the recent economic downturn.
Day-to-day concerns may continue to dominate and create immediate performance pressures, but the downturn has left a long-term impact — not just financially but also in terms of risk-taking ability and compliance. Margins are being squeezed and CFOs need to pay more attention to not only the top line, but also to operational factors that affect the bottom line. The appetite for risk has reduced, curtailing the lows but also limiting the highs. Governments, under pressure to maintain economic stability, have responded with tighter and increased regulations such as IFRS 9 and Basel III, adding another dimension to CFOs’ concerns. This situation is tricky. CFOs need to pay closer attention to these increased pressures on a day-to-day basis, but they have to simultaneously focus even more on organizational goals and performance.