Innovation, Digitalization Still Low Priorities for CFOs, Research Reveals

Posted by David Turner, Senior Marketing Director, EMEA – Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit

For several years, there has been growing recognition of the changing and broadening role of the CFO. In all but the most stagnant organisations, CFOs are taking on strategic duties to complement their traditional financial planning role, and embracing performance management and business partnering. Of course, a massive change in mindset and skillset doesn’t happen overnight – this is an evolution that has been several years in the making, and organisations are at different stages of their journey.

New research “The Future of Financial Reporting Survey 2017” crowd-sourced by the FSN Modern Finance Forum suggests that CFOs remain shy of innovation, feel uncomfortable about making technology decisions and are a long way from mastering new sources of data that could give their organisations a competitive edge.

Just 16 percent of survey respondents ranked innovation as an area where they could add the most economic value to their organisations, while only 19 percent rated the deployment of digital technologies as a top value-add. Only 40 percent of senior finance executives have managed to formally identify how new sources of data can give them a competitive edge.

The research was conducted amongst the 50,000 members of the FSN Modern Finance Forum on LinkedIn globally and represents one of the largest and most authoritative global surveys of its kind. The report surveyed 810 senior finance professionals covering 23 industries. Among the respondent 56 percent of the respondents were from Europe, 15 percent from North America and 11 percent from Asia-Pacific. Approximately half of the respondents were from organisations with more than 1,000 employees.

“It is heartening to see that a new generation of CFOs has managed to shed the bean-counter image but many remain confined to their comfort zone,” said Gary Simon, FSN’s Chief Executive Officer and the leader of the Modern Finance Forum.

Simon continued, “It is worrying that only six percent of CFOs felt comfortable that they really understood the technologies available to them and only 37 percent agreed to knowing what is available in the market. Fascinatingly, many of them are turning to the vendor community for advice and support on finance transformation. There appears to be growing trust in software vendors who increasingly make more information available about their solutions through thought-leadership, content downloads, free trials, video demonstrations and webinars.”

“Too many CFOs and their teams are hampered by old technology, disparate systems and manual processes. They are desperate to remove the constraints of old technology and focus more on business issues,” said Mark Woodhams, Managing Director, EMEA Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit. “We provide CFOs and the finance organization with a unified suite that reaches across the entire company and nearly two decades of experience in helping companies transform their operations. We allow CFOs to fulfil their ambition of being more strategic, driving profitability, growth and innovation.”

NetSuite sponsored the research as part of its focus on global finance issues. The original cloud software company,

The infographic below depicts some of the highlights of the research and will form the foundation of discussion in the FSN Modern Finance Forum in LinkedIn during the next few months. The full research will be released at a reception and dinner at the Café Royal in London on 14th June 2017.

 Innovation, Digitalization Still Low Priorities for CFOs, Research Reveals

FSN research shows how 42 percent of the finance function does not have sufficient understanding of the business operations. NetSuite allows CFOs to fulfil their ambition of being more strategic, driving profitability, growth and innovation.

Posted on Thu, May 11, 2017
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