Being Planful: Helpful Resources for the Office of the CFO

Being Planful: Helpful Resources for the Office of the CFO

We’re back! After a brief hiatus, our “Being Planful” series recapping the latest news for the Office of the CFO is returning to the Planful blog. But we’ve made a few changes.

• We’ll focus more on current topics of interest for progressive CFOs and their trailblazing teams (and less on pandemic-related news—finally!).
• Instead of highlighting individual articles, we’ll source relevant information from many different outlets and points of view to help you expand your knowledge on essential topics.
• Appreciating your limited time, we’re aiming to add value in as few words as possible and using a bulleted format.

For this installment, we’ve scanned the headlines for trending topics relevant to the Office of the CFO. Here’s what we found:

• Even with the crypto crash, the underlying blockchain technology is already transforming finance.
• Workforce planning needs more agility to deal with the zig-zagging trends of low unemployment rates and rising layoffs.
• If AI is proven to help business growth and finance teams, why are CFOs dragging their feet?
• More CFOs are using M&A as a way out of supply chain and labor shortages.


Crypto for the CFO

It’s been a rough 2022 for cryptocurrency, with Bitcoin down some 70% since its November 2021 highs. For most companies, however, the promise of crypto has been barely explored.

• If you’re in need of a crypto crib sheet, check out Gartner’s CFO’s Quick Guide to Cryptocurrency.
• If you remain uninterested in this volatile digital replacement for hard currency, you should instead start digging into the potential of crypto’s foundational element: blockchain.
This CFO Insight from Deloitte shows just how CFOs can take advantage of blockchain technology to modernize everything from procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes to warranties and financing.

The Bottom Line: “Any place paper piles up presents an opportunity for blockchain to move in and knock it down,” according to Deloitte.

Uncertainty in Workforce Planning

The WSJ reports that large, well-known enterprises like Tesla, Peloton, Uber, Microsoft, Oracle, and others have recently started to rescind job offers, reduce hiring, and even announce layoffs.

While real estate markets are encountering some froth and Peloton’s new CFO has their work cut out grappling with a post-pandemic world, the job market is starting to show some cracks.
• Even with unemployment near 50-year lows, half of HR executives told Gartner in a survey that competition for talent will decrease over the next six months.
• Of course, that also means the other half of HR executives think the competition for talent will increase.

The Bottom Line: Agile workforce planning is your friend.

Bringing AI into the Office of the CFO

Companies adept at harnessing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) generate an average of 30% of their revenue from AI, according to Accenture.

• Unfortunately, just 12% of companies are at this level. This offers a huge opportunity for CFOs to not only take advantage of this massive revenue generator but to use AI for their own needs.
• AI in Finance? Yes! McKinsey says AI can help improve forecasts, automate contracts, remove inefficiencies, and trim spending.
Gartner says AI can help CFOs navigate crisis scenarios by separating external, uncontrollable factors from internal levers within the CFOs purview.
• AI can even mitigate the impact of tight labor markets by identifying employees at risk of quitting.
• But, before hopping on the AI train, CFOs first need to realize we’re in the Golden Age of CFO technology.

The Bottom Line: “CFOs tend to see technology as a tool but rely on people to make decisions,” says Dennis Gannon of Gartner. “Even when the evidence shows that technology makes better or more accurate decisions, people are still reluctant to trust it.”

Is the Tight Labor Market Driving M&A?

A recent survey of U.S. CEOs by EY found that 60% of business leaders say they are “actively pursuing M&A” during 2022.

KPMG also sees M&A growth continuing throughout 2022.
• What’s driving the growth? Digital transformation and the need to stay ahead of constantly shifting challenges.
• As companies struggle against supply chain and talent shortages, more are just buying their way out of it.

The Bottom Line: “CFOs should strongly consider ‘acqui-hires’ — buying a company for its employees,” said Kathy Wagner, CFO of IT management software firm Kaseya, in an interview with “In the current labor market, it could be a shortcut to meet hiring needs.”

AI & MLFinance TransformationMarket InsightOffice of the CFO

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