The CFO’s Changing Role: 5 Data Points from the 2023 CFO Outlook Survey

CFOs report on upcoming tech strategies and non-executive managers weigh in on their finance chiefs' performance.
The CFO’s Changing Role: 5 Data Points from the 2023 CFO Outlook Survey
Photo: Choreograph

The balancing act finance chiefs are currently engaging in with managing people, data, technology, and changing compliance requirements is creating a challenging environment. To handle all the trials and tribulations, CFOs must be willing to embrace innovation and craft or refine their leadership strategies. Below are five data points from CFO‘s 2023 CFO Outlook survey that stand out when examining the data with leadership aspirations in mind. 

1. 84% of CFOs Will be More Involved in Tech Strategy

A majority (84%) of CFOs reported they will be more involved in tech this year, showing a willingness to step outside the traditional CFO roles. Through upskilling and continuing to learn more about rapidly advancing technologies like artificial intelligence, CFOs aim to be more tech-savvy in 2023. 

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2. 95% of Nonfinance Executives Communicate Well with Their CFO

The ability to communicate properly is pivotal to the success of any executive, particularly in finance. When CFO asked nonfinancial executives about their relationships with their CFO, nearly all (95%) said they communicate well with the top finance executive. Leadership is grounded on the ability to present ideas and make decisions, and according to the other members of the C-suite, CFOs are doing a pretty good job at that.

3. Only 7% of Respondents Look for C-Suite Approval When Evaluating Technology

According to the data, CFOs are giving their teams lots of autonomy when it comes to evaluating investments in technology. Very few (7%) respondents chose C-suite buy-in as their top choice, instead focusing on things like compatibility with existing tech systems, low burden on the IT team, and ease of implementation. C-suite buy-in was the least selected option. Executives have done a good job of not overriding conversations about technology, ultimately giving themselves a chance to learn through being a part — not the majority — of the decision-making process. 

4. 92% of Nonfinance Executives Believe Finance Is Doing a Great Job

The latest CFO data says finance executives are largely appreciated by other executives. Data shows alongside the significance of CFOs’ efforts are very grateful and appreciative executive and managerial teams. More than half (56%) said they strongly agree and 36% somewhat agree with the statement. Among the few who have doubts about their finance team’s performance, only 1% said they strongly disagree that their finance team is doing great. 

5. 99% of Managers Said Their CFO is the Best at Something

When managers were asked if there were any responsibilities their company’s CFO was best at, nearly all (99%) gave some type of answer. Only 1% of respondents said there is no responsibility their current CFO is best at performing. Although what CFOs were the best at varied, data shows that managers can turn to their finance executive for at least one thing and expect assistance at an expert level.