CFO Signals: What North America’s Top Finance Executives are Thinking – and Doing (Deloitte)

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CFO Concerns are Spearheaded by Trade, Tariffs, and Yes…Talent

Deloitte released the results of its quarterly North American CFO survey, exploring insights into business environment, company priorities and expectations, finance priorities, and CFOs’ personal priorities. The highest rates of response came from the following industries:

  • Manufacturing (33%)
  • Financial Services (32%)
  • Energy/Resources (17%)
  • Technology (12%)

Externally, CFOs continue to brood over trade and tariff policies, most notably concerns regarding the dynamic between the North American, European, and Chinese governments.

Internally, the familiar questions remain largely unanswered. Leaders within larger organizations continue to battle the retention of top talent or the acquisition of new individuals with highly specialized skill sets. Interestingly, Q3 appeared as the first time in 2018 that CFOs are more concerned about internal matters than their external counterparts.

The Future Work Environment

CFOs expect the current trends of shifting away from traditional accounting and reporting to continue in favor of a more technology-enabled working environment. Survey respondents specifically mentioned “shared service centers of excellence,” insisting that these integrated hubs will pervade the modern workplace within the next three years. Supplementing these offices will likely be proponents of the gig economy and members of the remote workforce, allowing companies to plug-and-play to satisfy specific functions or assist with the ongoing transition.

Deloitte Quote

Finance Skills of the Future

Over two-thirds of surveyed CFO responses ranked these skills as THE most important for running effective finance operations:

  1. Analytical Skills
  2. Digital Technologies/Automation
  3. Core Business Skills

Within these major skill areas, data management/analysis, budget forecasting, trend analysis, process automation, digital literacy, and strategic thinking all topped the CFO wish list.

While confidence in the world economy is still experiencing historical highs, leaders around the world are openly admitting that more changes regarding how their companies will function and evolve are inevitable. Adaptation to these changes remains at the forefront of professional and organizational development.

Read the full report “CFO Signals: What North America’s Top Finance Executives are Thinking – and Doing” here.

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