This year, professionals from the finance domain confide to us that they will focus on a higher number of financial aspects.

But what are the 2016 finance priorities for CFOs and finance executives?

Protiviti, a global consulting and internal audit firm tries to answer the question. In order to ensure this, Protiviti conducted a survey based on responses of more than 600 CFOs, finance VPs, finance executives and other professionals from the finance world.

Five categories were listed as the 2016 priorities :

– Process Capabilities (Financial Transactions)

– Process Capabilities (Financial Analysis)

– Emerging Issues

– Technical Capabilities

– Organizational Capabilities

For each of these five categories, respondents had to rate, on a scale from 1 to 10, the level of priority for them. Closer to 10 the level of priority is,   higher the priority. On the contrary, closer to 1 the level of priority is, lower the priority for CFOs.

The survey highlights that the top priorities in which CFOs and financial executives will focus on in 2016 is margin and earnings performance.  These key elements are followed by strategic planning, cybersecurity risks, periodic forecasting, and budgeting.

Ryan Senter, a Protiviti managing director, explains in a press release why CFOs focus on these priorities saying that « “With the modest economic recovery of the past few years, finance functions are preparing the enterprise for challenges that could materialize at any time by working to preserve margins and by sustaining a strong focus on working capital management“. Protiviti says that CFOs are reaching out to operational units to be in line with companies’ expectations.

The study realized by Protiviti also revealed some key findings, especially on organizational capabilities. For CFOs, competency and skills issues are seen as priorities. In fact, the study says that « finance leaders are emphasizing these skills more in order to build stronger teams and more effective collaboration with other functions in the organization”.

As we can read, it seems important for CFOs and finance executives to focus on their internal leadership responsibilities. Professionals from the finance domain understand that it is important to focus on the human factor, a key element in an organization. To ensure this, CFOs give priorities to key areas with a red point in the image below.

 

Source : Protiviti – 2016 Finance Priorities Survey 

It is very interesting to see that managers from the finance domain attribute greater importance to these capabilities that the overall group. We notice a year-over-year increase in this kind of priorities, meaning that there is awareness among CFOs that the human factor is as important as priorities directly linked to the finance process.

From our point of view, we think at Shortways that  it is very important to take into account the team and to see what kind of skills or competencies need  to be nurtured and developed in order to have an effective work.

Shortways help CFOs who focus on organizational competencies and management achieving these goals. To help their staff understanding some internal processes, Shortways proposes its “Shortcuts” virtual assistant that operate at the very heart of the process. Shortcuts help employees being efficient by explaining procedures, operating instructions and applicable standards and rules.

Sources : http://blog.protiviti.com/2015/11/10/maintaining-margins-while-staying-vigilants-highlights-from-the-ferfprotiviti-2016-finance-priorities-survey/