With finance leaders from companies like Pfizer, Delta, HubSpot, Squarespace, and more in attendance, MIT Sloan’s CFO Summit on Tuesday will explore how some of the largest and most successful companies are navigating the challenges faced by today’s finance leaders.
Agenda topics include leadership, M&A, innovation, cash management, labor management, and customer-centricity.
With this in mind, here are five questions CFO wants to get answered at the event.
1. How do CFOs feel about 2024’s economic outlook, and how is it affecting their risk management approach?
New geopolitical strife and the possibility of future interest rate hikes are just some of the moving pieces muddying the economic outlook for 2024. Are CFOs, who were recently showcasing confidence in the economy’s ability to avoid recession, still feeling the same way going into 2024?
2. How are CFOs preparing for the expansion of their roles in stakeholder communication and M&A?
As access to capital has become more difficult and debt more expensive, have CFOs taken steps to become better storytellers to “sell” their company's idea and potential to those with the tools to help them grow?
3. How are CFOs’ management of the workforce and their teams changing nowadays, if at all?
New benefit offerings, financial wellness programs, work-life balance initiatives — many organizations are introducing such initiatives to boost productivity and retain talent. Moving forward, where else will CFOs spend to compete for talent, especially within finance?
4. How do CFOs of large, established companies approach and implement leadership?
What can startups and companies in the mid-market learn from longtime corporate giants? A panel discussing leadership from the perspectives of finance executives from General Electric, Delta, and Honeywell should provide some insights.
5. As a finance leader, what is most beneficial about having work experience across different industries, and how do you know when it’s the right time to leave a job?
The fireside chat with Pfizer’s CFO David Denton on his career and the many industries he has worked in should provide an interesting perspective on career trajectories, especially how to pick up on the indicators that a significant career opportunity is worth pursuing.
6. If CFOs who are CPAs could change one thing about the process they had to go through to earn their credential, what would it be?
Some finance leaders have shared their quarrels with the process of becoming a CPA and how it has changed over the past several years. How do CFOs at the MIT Sloan summit think the process of becoming a CPA can be tweaked to encourage young people to pursue a career in finance and accounting?
7. With the return of business travel, how are CFOs staying healthy and focused on the road?
Maintaining physical and mental health while traveling for business regularly can be challenging. What recommendations do CFOs have for their peers for staying healthy and focused on the road, professionally and personally?