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CFOs to priortise striking balance between short-term results and long-term value: Survey

Leading consultancy EY's survey covered more than 800 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Financial Directors (FD) and senior finance executives of large organisations to understand the challenges faced by a CFO.

November 26, 2020 / 04:56 PM IST

Majority of chief financial officers feel that achieving a balance between short-term results and creating long-term value will become a priority as they are set to play a critical role in reframing the future of enterprises post the coronavirus pandemic, says a global survey.

Leading consultancy EY's survey covered more than 800 Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), Financial Directors (FD) and senior finance executives of large organisations to understand the challenges faced by a CFO.

Around 40 percent of the respondents were from EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India and Africa).

"79 percent respondents in EMEIA (globally -- 86 percent) say they will be required to protect their organisation today while enabling future growth.

"At the same time, 79 percent respondents (globally -- 84 percent) agree that achieving a balance between short term results and creating long term value will become a priority. This will also include traditional mandates, such as corporate reporting, along with new ones like overseeing digital transformation," a release said on Thursday.


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As per the findings, 50 percent of finance leaders surveyed in EMEIA reported limited or no collaboration with Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs), while 42 percent of the respondents said the same about their relationship with the Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs).

Further, around 76 percent of the respondents in EMEIA and 82 percent globally said that they are increasingly seen by key stakeholders as the stewards of long-term value.

"In addition, 78 percent of respondents in EMEIA (globally -- 79 percent) say that investors are increasingly requiring much more information on how their organisation creates long term value for all stakeholders," the release said.

A more fluid operating model that extends beyond an enterprise's four walls will likely to be a key factor in enabling finance to play a central role in the connected markets of the future and many finance leaders see such a scenario becoming a reality over the next five years.

"More than three-quarters (EMEIA -- 73 percent, globally -- 77 percent) of respondents believe that, by 2025, finance IT will be cloud-native rather than on-premise, and 71 percent respondents in EMEIA (globally -- 74 percent) believe the function will be part of a blockchain-based ecosystem," the release noted.

Sandip Khetan, National Leader and Partner of Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS) at EY India, said the pandemic has highlighted the importance of driving bold, cohesive and innovative strategies to accelerate the digitisation of finance.

"Digital adoption in the CFO's office has been accelerating in India and will continue to do so at an exponential rate in the post-COVID era," Nikhil Sharma, Partner and Finance Leader of Business Consulting at EY India, said.

Going forward, CFOs should look to reframe the finance function by harnessing new and emerging technologies such as intelligent automation, he added.

Over two-third (69 percent) of the respondents' organisations have revenues between $1 billion and $4.99 billion annually. Almost one-third (30 percent) of the respondents' organisations have global revenues in excess of $5 billion a year.

Also, more than a quarter (34 percent) of the respondents were either Group CFO or Group FD (Financial Director), while the remaining people were CFOs, FDs or heads of finance (group, divisional or regional).

Respondents were split across the Americas, Asia-Pacific, EMEIA and Japan.

The research was conducted by Longitude on behalf of EY Global Financial Accounting Advisory Services (FAAS).
first published: Nov 26, 2020 04:52 pm
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