There was not a single woman chief financial officer (CFO) in the Nifty50 companies in FY22, and less than 5 percent of them were women in the Nifty250, according to a study by Krea University and Dun & Bradstreet.
In a shift from traditional CFO-led activities like accounting and auditing, financial analysis and planning, investor relations, financial risk management, product pricing, and regulatory compliance, CFOs now find themselves more involved in corporate strategy, organisational transformation, digitisation, enterprise risk management, and ESG implementation, according to the report.
“Today’s CFOs play multiple roles: they are trusted partners to CEOs on not just financial but also strategic matters, conscience-keepers of Boards in enhancing stakeholder trust, storytellers deriving hindsight, insights, and foresight from financial data, and PE-minded investors strengthening core businesses with investments in next-gen start-ups,” says Ramkumar Ramamoorthy, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Professional Learning at Krea University.
The report found through a survey that 86 percent of CFOs gave high importance to digital technologies even as they seek to transition from ‘systems of record’ to ‘systems of engagement and intelligence.
Preeta Misra, Senior Director, Dun & Bradstreet India, said, “The relationship between a CEO and a CFO is critical for any business. Our study found that the ability to envision business growth is the most important trait for a CFO. To be a trusted partner to the CEO, CFOs need newer skills to address newer demands of the market.”
In addition to allocating capital to minimise unsustainability, the study found that CFOs need to create newer financial models to shape business sustainability and achieve publicly disclosed sustainability goals.For the study, D&B analysed Nifty250 companies, Nifty50, Nifty Next 50, and Nifty Midcap 150 index companies for FY 2016 and FY 2022 to see how the needle has moved over this period across different facets. D&B chose the Nifty 250 as they represent over 70 percent of sales for FY 2022 of India Inc and constitute about 86 percent of the market capitalisation of the listed NSE universe.