Leadership Tops the List

If you have been part of our community for a while, you know our framework for teaching revolves around the Four Pillars of CFO Success: Accounting, Finance, Treasury and Leadership. (get our e-book describing the Four Pillars and their Core Competencies here: Please Send My e-book)

To begin the year, we asked global finance leaders, Which Pillar will be most critical to the success of CFOs in 2022?

Leadership Tops the List

Over 1100 professionals responded. The results are enlightening and occasionally surprising.

We expected Leadership to garner the most votes. We didn’t expect it to top the runner-up by nearly 450%. 71% of poll participants selected the Leadership Pillar as being most critical, followed by 16% for the Finance Pillar, 8% for the Treasury Pillar and just 5% for the Accounting Pillar.

We cross referenced the responses of our poll takers with reports being written about CFOs and their top priorities in 2022. Here is a summary of those reports:

Top CFO priorities 2022

Forbes: Planning For 2022: Three Things Every CFO Should Prioritize Now1

  1. The Team, The Team, The Team - attracting and retaining Talent and culture – redefining how to leverage the hybrid work model
  2. Continued C-Suite Collaboration – removing silos
  3. The Acceleration of Technology - CFO and CIOs agents of efficiency and agility

Deloitte: CFOs Top Priorities for 20222

  1. Talent/labor – solving retention issues created by the Great Resignation and refining the pandemic induced ‘work from home’ model
  2. Financial performance – Pricing and profitability top this category
  3. Growth – Increasing revenue, supporting new product launches and optimizing growth strategies
  4. Strategy Setting - highlighting the trend that CFOs are playing more than a financial role at their companies.

Other top priorities include cost management, capital allocation, and IT infrastructure.

Strategic Finance Magazine: What’s Keeping CFOs Up at Night In 2022?3

  1. Supply Chain Disruptions that lead to shortages and inflation
  2. Employee Retention, companies should “affirm or reaffirm their commitment to each employee’s professional development”
  3. Developing a talent pipeline, for finance that means FP&A, Data, BI tools and business partnering
  4. Automation and Digital Transformation, reduce the pressure and enhance the benefits from 1-3 above
  5. Leading Business Transformation, “…being impactful means transforming numbers into words and putting the story in the hands of the right people at the right time, even before they knew they needed it.”

CFO Dive: 5 CFO trends to watch in 20224

  1. Inflation from wage pressure, supply chain issues, cheap money
  2. War for talent, cash still the most used incentive for retention
  3. Usage-based pricing models growing out of SaaS subscription model
  4. Corporate inversions more attractive as US corporate income tax rates rise
  5. Clawbacks of performance-based incentives when restatements occur

PWC: What does 2022 look like for today’s CFOs?5 Six topics that will be high on CFOs’ agendas in 2022

  1. Attracting and retaining talent
  2. Pricing strategies to counter rising input costs
  3. Increasing agility to better operate in a turbulent business environment
  4. Improving supply chain resilience
  5. Capitalizing on digital transformation initiatives
  6. Enabling growth

Gartner: Top Priorities for Finance Leaders in 2022

  1. CFOs Will Dive into Digital in 2022 with investment accelerating
  2. Elevate Finance’s Digital Skills by implementing ‘enablers’ that will make digital implementation easier going forward.
  3. Improve Flexibility with Budgeting and Forecasting where “the finance function evolves through increased hyper automation to fully autonomous finance”
  4. Tie Digital Initiatives to an Enterprise-wide Strategy by prioritize funding toward initiatives that move the dial on critical business KPIs.
  5. Build an AI-Driven Finance Organization or risk becoming technologically obsolete
  6. Prioritize Digital Investment Governance for a Higher Return
  7. Invest in Predictive Insights for the Business to provide more forward-looking and predictive insights
  8. Invest in Digital Technologies to Improve Processes

>>> Click here for copy of Leadership Tops the List, which includes the Poll Summary, the top CFO challenges in 2022 and comments from Finance Leaders.

The poll included written comments from global finance leaders including Lance Rubin, Aliyyah Abdullah, Paul Barnhurst and Maarten Verheul. You can see their comments and our response to the question, Which Pillar will be most critical to the success of CFOs in 2022? in our eBook, Leadership Tops the List

1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesfinancecouncil/2021/11/23/planning-for-2022-three-things-every-cfo-should-prioritize-now/?sh=36da38e3343a

2 https://deloitte.wsj.com/articles/talent-performance-growth-cfos-top-priorities-for-2022-01641839606

3 https://sfmagazine.com/post-entry/january-2022-whats-keeping-cfos-up-at-night-in-2022/

4 https://www.cfodive.com/news/5-cfo-trends-to-watch-2022/611608/

5 https://www.pwc.com/us/en/library/cfo.html

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