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The Top Three Issues Facing Today's CFOs

Today's CFOs have to encounter a number of challenges on a daily basis, while also preparing their companies to deal with the current state of the economy. While there are several points of focus for CFOs, a recent survey conducted by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and the Institute of Management Accountants identified a list of the top priorities for CFOs.

The top three issues facing today's CFOs, starting with the most important, include current priorities, the effectiveness of the finance team and finance function challenges. Addressing these concerns will ensure CFOs will be able to navigate their firms through the difficult economy.

"Challenges for CFOs and other finance leaders center on prioritizing the demands on the finance function," said Raef Lawson, vice president of research for the IMA. "This is top of their concerns, followed by poor finance IT capability to managing increasing demands from the organization for management information."

Analytics Apps Allow for Better Finance Reporting
Gathering insights about their firms from the massive data streams available to today's companies gives CFOs a better opportunity to make informed decisions. An article for Information Management contained a graphic that identified the aspects of the finance function that can brought to life by analytics: financial reporting, financial analysis and financial planning.

By getting their hands on the most updated information, CFOs will be able to plan better, meet regulations and improve the means in which they service their customers. Before embarking on any strategy with business intelligence and big data, CFOs need to identify the information they are looking for, and what tools they are going to invest in to make that data easier to find.

CFOs Need Different Skills in the Workplace
When assembling their teams, CFOs need to bring on a number of skilled professionals that have the ability to work with the most innovative tools, while also possessing the necessary training to meet the needs of any customers. However, a recent article for Forbes outlined how CFOs can navigate through the current skills gap.

With employee performance being as important as ever for today's CFOs, the news source sat down with Sandra Richtermeyer, chair emeritus for the 2011-2012 fiscal year for the IMA, to identify what skills are becoming the most important for CFOs teams.

During the interview, Richtermeyer said many of today's students are well-trained in public accountancy while earning their undergraduate and graduate school degrees. However, they also must learn how to handle management accounting roles inside organizations where they need to think like a business owner. In order to address these issues, Richtermeyer proposes that CFOs use professional development in their firms to teach employees about the new trends in accounting, as well as to allow staff to create short- and long-term goals that allow them to build their own path within the company. Having employees develop at their own pace will give CFOs an opportunity to place members of their team in positions where they see fit.

Are you ready to address the challenges facing today's CFOs? If so, is your company ready for business analytics, and can you employ a staff to take advantage of such innovations?

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