Popularly known as a reliable measurement of the health and direction of the corporate sector, this survey addresses a range of topics from economy-related information to business performances.
By reflecting on the results, financial officers and executives gain critical information that can aid their company toward a financially successful future.
What Is the Chief Financial Officer Outlook Survey?
It’s one of the most comprehensive reviews and often the basis for financial decision-making. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Outlook Survey gathers important information about the financial industry every year.
It’s done quarterly to find the financial and economic outlooks of the firms involved. It also wants to figure out the main issues that can influence businesses and how these problems change the expectations of financial officials.¹
Key Takeaways From the 2023 CFO Outlook Survey
The survey was given to 500 CFOs, managers, and C-suite executives to obtain well-grounded data. Sixty-five percent of the respondents work for companies with 50 to 250 million dollars in revenue, while 35 percent came from companies with less than 50 million dollars in annual revenue.²
With the diversity of the people who responded, the survey results apply to finance executives all over the globe.
Made through reflection and understanding of the results, the following are some reminders you can take away from the 2023 outlook survey.
1. Enhance your tech strategies.
Technology should not be a competition but rather an aid you can use to enhance your work quality. If you are one of the people who stick to traditional means, this is your call to change it up.
According to the results, 84 percent of CFOs want to be more involved with different tech strategies they can apply in their work. They want to start veering away from standard processes and learn skills in using advanced technology.³
Slowly but surely, the use of tech is revolutionizing the financial industry. As a CFO or financial executive, it’s your task to migrate and incorporate these trends to keep up with the economy’s demands.
Technology can handle extensive data and organize it quickly without much effort. So instead of manually calculating and analyzing data, new technologies can save you time and effort.
It can also improve the accuracy of your analysis, which helps you make faster and more informed decisions for the company you work for.
Here are a few examples of applications and tools you can use:
Knowledge of technology can open many opportunities for you to reduce costs in different financial areas of your company. Automating processes using flexible software can save money and increase efficiency simultaneously.
It could be as simple as using automated wire transfers to clients and employees instead of old-fashioned checks. Or upgrading complex machinery that boosts production and speeds up the delivery of products.
Being updated about new tech is also important for a CFO since you can decide what technology to invest in. As expected, numerous innovations will appear in the market, so you must know which ones are worth investing in.
When you can make faster and better decisions for your organization based on real-time data, you are giving your company an edge against competitors. It’s no secret that many organizations today are innovating their processes and technology.
As a CFO, you need to see opportunities for innovation that can make your organization stand out and stay relevant.
2. Learn how to communicate effectively.
Just like in every other role, it’s vital to have communication skills. As a CFO, it’s your responsibility to present ideas and decisions to your organization.
When communicating, you should feel comfortable talking to everyone and not just those directly under you. The survey revealed that 95 percent of nonfinancial employees communicate well with the chief financial officer.
Why is this important, you ask?
It builds credibility.
People usually trust individuals who effectively connect with other people. As the chief officer responsible for providing financial information and making decisions, it’s important to communicate in a clear, concise, and transparent manner that everyone can understand.
When you speak confidently, you establish yourself as a reliable source of information and valuable opinions, eliminating any doubts people may have about your knowledge or expertise.
Aside from this, you are also increasing the overall confidence of stakeholders in your company’s financial health.
It presents decisions and risks.
One of your responsibilities as a CFO is communicating financial risks and choices to those involved in the company’s decision-making process.
To successfully educate people on important information, you need to have the ability to communicate clearly. It’s only with an effective presentation that you can inform the entire chain of command of the severity or risks and the implications of certain decisions.
It helps you collaborate with others.
All chief financial officers in any business need to collaborate within their companies. For example, there will be situations where you have to work closely with CEOs, CIOs, and COOs to create effective strategies for the company.
Good communication skills help develop and implement financial strategies that fit the goal and objectives of the company.
3. Find help when you need it.
Being a CFO doesn’t mean you’ll be solely responsible for all the financial decisions and strategy ideation in your workplace. An excellent chief officer collaborates with his team members and delegates tasks when needed. Whenever you have the chance, gather insight from those around you, and being quiet does not help you in any way.
The survey showed 93 percent of the respondents chose technological systems compatible with their current ones rather than better technologies that are difficult to implement.
Their decision was driven mainly by the opinions of their workmates who used the existing systems daily. Instead of deciding on their own, ideal CFOs should learn from others. As a decision-maker, you have to consider the knowledge and experiences of those around you to decide wisely and effectively.
4. Gain mastery in your field of work.
Of all the respondents, 99 percent of managers noted that their CFO is the best or a master of at least one thing related to their field.
Being a CFO doesn’t mean you should know everything. Instead, find a specific area you can perfect while continuing to learn other things. You can choose a responsibility within the financial industry you would like to be an expert in and keep learning.
5. Be part of improving the company.
As a vital executive team member, your role contributes to your company’s success. You shouldn’t think that your responsibilities are only financially related.
To be a good financial executive, you need to immerse yourself in the business and be actively involved in improving it as a whole.
Keep yourself in the loop with work-related conversations so that you can offer financial insights and ideas when needed. Involve yourself with planning and implementation. Learn to be respectfully present in every step that you think your skills and knowledge might be helpful.
NEED HELP IN BECOMING THE BEST CANDIDATE IN YOUR FIELD?
Here at Focus People, we recognize your talents and capabilities. We pride ourselves in being attentive to opportunities that can help enhance your skills as a professional.
We can confidently help you create a successful partnership with respectable employers who require your services. Contact us today to start your journey.
1. Graham et al. “The CFO Survey Methodology.” Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, March 2023. https://www.richmondfed.org/-/media/RichmondFedOrg/research/national_economy/cfo_survey/the_cfo_survey_methods.pdf
2. Oracle Netsuite. “CFO 2023 Outlook: Cautious optimism amid recession, cost cutting, and workforce challenges.” CFO, March 2023. https://www.cfo.com/resources/2023/02/cfos-2023-outlook-cautious-optimism-amid-recession-cost-cutting-workforce-challenges/
3. Zuki, Adam. “The CFO’s Changing Role: 5 Data Points from the 2023 CFO Outlook Survey.” CFO, 3 Feb. 2023. https://www.cfo.com/human-capital/leadership/2023/02/2023-cfo-outlook-survey-leadership-tech-finance-team/