The C-Suite can be an intense place; “With great power comes great responsibility” has never been a truer statement. The individuals steering the company ship juggle many duties, the most important of which is ensuring the business doesn’t go under. Not a responsibility to skip out on! Without their leadership, a company would flounder until it eventually ran out of air.
The challenges facing a CFO carry a special weight. After all, they are the ones who bear the most responsibility when it comes to keeping the company in the black. Read on to learn the most pressing challenges CFOs face.
As staff levels even out, especially with it being harder to find qualified applicants, a CFO’s workload is ever increasing. What’s more is that that increased workload can include tasks that the CFO wasn’t necessarily trained for. This can be an excellent learning opportunity for CFOs: a chance to pad their resume, learn new skills and bring new processes and workflows to their organization. But the sword is double-edged. In order to reap the benefits of expanding their knowledge base, CFOs must be willing to learn new skill sets on the fly—and multiple skill sets at that.
Staying abreast of technology improvements is crucial in order to retain profits and remain competitive. Falling behind technology could very well lead to complete failure for the company. Thus, changing technology is an always-there CFO challenge that must be dealt with. In fact, one survey found that 41 percent of CFOs believe keeping up with technology is the greatest pressure their teams face. Between knowing about new systems and understanding the opportunity costs of each, CFOs face immense pressure to not fall behind the times. Improved technology can bring with it enhanced financial reporting and security, so failing to keep up can be detrimental to company goals.
One of the primary challenges CFOs are facing is information overload because of an inundation of changing accounting standards. Plus, new government regulations require CFOs to be even more diligent. Take the Affordable Care Act. It has made budgeting more complex because premiums and administrative costs have increased. CFOs are seeing an increasing challenge of making sure employees have the health coverage they need while also tending to the business’ bottom line. Ensuring a CFO’s business still complies with all mandated standards is a time-consuming CFO challenge of the utmost importance.
Burchard & Associates is an executive search firm specialized in accounting and finance recruiting across all business sectors, including manufacturing, retail, wholesale/distribution, healthcare, financial services, and more.