Thanks for stopping by this installment of “Being Planful,” our series that recaps the latest finance trends, accounting viewpoints, and trending news for the Office of the CFO. We’ve scanned the headlines for trending topics and here’s what we found:
Many companies are stuck in a kind of economic limbo. Operational costs are outpacing cash flow, which is leaving CFOs in a “financial balancing act … [to] prioritize smart and efficient investment opportunities.”
Despite the doom and gloom headlines, sustainable growth is possible so long as CFOs make smart business decisions.
The Bottom Line: Even in a less-than-ideal economic climate, growth is still possible. Rather than making sweeping cuts in the form of mass layoffs, CFOs can take more appropriate measures:
The skill set for the average finance worker has changed. It’s no longer enough to master accounting, risk, and controls. Now “what CFOs are now looking for are people with a much greater degree of tech fluency, data analytics skills,” says Steve Gallucci, global and U.S. CFO program leader with Deloitte.
Enter: the talent war, where businesses have a tremendous demand for people with top-tier skill sets, who are really tough to find.
What does it take for CFOs to win these in-demand, skilled workers?
The Bottom Line: With recent layoffs spiking in certain industries, there’s an opportunity to scoop up highly skilled workers. It all starts with having a positive workplace culture, including “being an engaged, empathic leader” and genuinely investing in the well-being of your workers.
These days, there’s major hype surrounding the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate workplace processes. The challenge for CFOs and their fellow C-suiters isn’t in finding any ol’ AI technology but in finding the best possible solution to boost business performance without raising costs.
The Bottom Line: As financial leaders, CFOs have a critical role to play with AI utilization of their organizations. “You don’t necessarily need to understand exactly how AI works,” says Matthew Malek, CFO of Interactions LLC, “but what’s the impact? How could it help? How could it potentially hurt?”
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