Organizations are always confronting changes because of the technological progress and unstable economic and political situation. This uncertainty keeps the role of today’s CFOs constantly and fundamentally changing. The job of the CFO doesn’t stop with passive control numbers, incomes and expenditures, CEOs have higher expectations from their execution.

Over the years, CFO job has become vital for the fulfilment of the business strategy and is now crucial for identifying new external and internal opportunities for growth and expansion. ProForecast identifies the challenges facing the CFOs in 2018.

Growth

In 2018 CFOs are increasingly more responsible for the drive of to the growth strategy from mergers and acquisitions and geographic expansion and organic growth.

Achieving sustainable growth is the most pressing strategic challenges companies face, and more often than not the responsibility falls on CFOs. According to a study by McKinsey claims that in the coming years, CFOs will need to up their game in a wide range of growth-related activities. Among several processes linked to the growth of the business, many businesses claim that their CFOs and their resource allocation is the most important for their business’s growth, like portfolio management, capital allocation, capital-expenditure approval, and profit-and-loss management.

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity threats are becoming a growing threat to many businesses, and increasingly CFOs are responsible for the cybersecurity.

Every year, cybersecurity risk is increasing and there are no signs of it slowing down. Many organisations are handling their security threats better, but despite attempts by businesses to protect themselves, the threats keep coming. In fact, 2016 saw a 56 percent increase in the theft of the intellectual property, that had damaging effects. While the 2017 cybersecurity study reported that 46 percent of all businesses in the UK have identified at least one cybersecurity breach or attack.

The responsibility for cybersecurity increasingly falls for CFOs. This is often due to the nature of the resource distribution, ROI and business growth capabilities.

Even if you are not responsible for cybersecurity, your business’s most sensitive data is under your control, which should put cybersecurity at the top of your agenda in 2018. It is essential that you must address the cybersecurity risks that threaten your company and prepare your business for every eventuality.

BIG DATA or just data

The amount of information we are now able to track and the store is amazing, however, numerous CFOs are unable to utilize this information. Over the last few years, we’ve gone from not having enough data to where we have so much we don’t know what to do with it.

For CFOs most of the problem arises from the legacy systems which cannot keep up with data available and cannot incorporate them into their traditional reporting. In 2018, CFOs with outdated systems will come under increased pressure to deliver better reporting and the gap between expectations and reality will start to increase – to close it, you’ll need to update those legacy systems and start taking advantage of some of the latest technologies such as machine learning and AI and cloud-based systems.

Ignoring these technologies could take a competitive edge off your business and pose significant security risks to your business.

Data processing

Applying financial data to achieve profitable growth is considered a major strategic value in 2018. Strengthening the alliance between financial planning and corporate strategy are some of the top priorities for CFOs in 2018, and they will be expected to take the initiative to apply financial data analysis to explore new products, markets and channels.

But, we’ve seen more and more data coming to CFOs as over the last couple of years, as the amount of data businesses can now track and produce has grown exponentially. Unfortunately, more data means more reporting, and more reporting means more time. This can be solved by utilising more smart tools to help with your financial planning.

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