Top priorities for finance leaders - from other finance leaders
The finance remit is broadening, with the business looking to finance to guide and steer how it adapts and evolves. We have spoken to CFOs and FDs through our series of CFO rooms, round-table events and other discussions, and here’s the priorities they shared for this quarter.
“Recruitment and retention is very difficult right now with wages spiralling. It’s my number one priority.”
“I need to create strong development plans for our finance team to motivate them to remain in the business and progress through their career path.”
“The finance team need to improve efficiency by using digital tools. Our people want to upskill their data and analytical capabilities.”
“We need to consider different sources of talent including apprenticeships and refugee pathways in order to promote our D&I agenda.”
The UK economy is facing a digital skills shortage – apprenticeships can help your organisation stay ahead of the market
Draw insights from data analysis to drive better decision making.
The current disclosure requirements on diversity and inclusion may depend on finance taking a lead.
“I am concerned about the unprecedented cost increases due to inflation and the impact of global political conflict on the entirety of our business.”
“How can I manage the increased focus on the bottom line with so many rising costs?”
“We are seeing our energy prices, wages and supply costs rising continuously. This is constraining our ability to invest in growth.”
“Rising interest rates are pushing-up our cost of debt and I now need to research different options.”
You need to navigate debt capital markets in a smart and informed way to access the optimal structure.
“How will the current energy market impact my ESG strategies?”
“How can my finance team drive the ESG agenda?”
“We are at the start of our ESG journey and need to move forward due to increased pressures from external stakeholders. Where should we focus our attention to be in line with our competitors?”
“We do not want ESG to be a buzz word - we want to set realistic and achievable goals.”
“We are reporting on TCFD, but are there any new reporting and compliance requirements associated with ESG? And how do you collate the right data?”
With relentless pressure coming from all stakeholders to embrace the ESG agenda, the question now is how, where and when your business is going to respond.
“How do we prepare for future IPO or M&A activity and its impact on data and the finance function?”
“I want M&A to drive as much value for our business as possible so a robust due diligence process is essential. How has a typical due diligence process changed since the pandemic began?”
“We need to consolidate our processes and systems post-deal, how can we do this efficiently?”
“How can we ensure that we are getting the best value from our financing decisions?”
Find out the key deal drivers of 2022, which sectors are set to prosper, and why finance leaders need a laser-sharp focus on reporting.
“Our systems landscape lacks integration or a strategic direction. We need to simplify before we can think about AI or automation.”
“We have identified a number of manual processes which we believe could be automated, but we don’t have the time or capability to do so.”
“We have started to upgrade our infrastructure and software to support our new hybrid way of working, what other technologies could assist us?”
“Our recent investment in technology has resulted in more data being captured. Now we aren’t sure about the real source of the truth within the business. How can the finance team lead the way in streamlining the data now available?”
Digital transformation remains a priority for finance leaders.
“With the increased data we have available, we want to ensure we’re measuring what we value and being intentional with our KPI selection.”
“We need visibility of our ‘cost to serve’ each customer so we can understand our true profitability.”
“We need to create time for our finance team to think. Currently, they don’t have the capacity to make best informed decisions.”
“We want to benchmark our finance function against key areas including data, reporting, systems, efficiency and cost but don’t know where to start.”
Are you measuring what you value, or valuing what you measure?
Without understanding the true profitability of your commercial and operational activity, finance teams will struggle to make best informed decisions.
“Which sanctions apply to me? How can I act now in a way that is considering immediate potential future sanctions?”
“We’re bolstering our financial reporting skills to prepare for increased scrutiny of financial results from the new audit regulator.”
“How do we ensure that our corporate risk register captures all of the key risks and appropriately scores their potential impact?”
“We must think about our approach to internal controls, reporting and corporate governance reforms in light of the UK SOX white paper.”
It's still not clear what a UK version of the Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) inspired Internal Controls over Financial Reporting (ICFR) regime means for organisations.
“How will the government’s Tax Plan impact my business?”
“Now that the furlough scheme has ended, we need to ensure our historic claims were accurate and consider any knock-on effects to other areas, such as R&D salary costs.”
“We are considering our M&A options to enhance our growth but we want to have clarity on the tax structures we need in place.”
“With the volume of tax governance legislation such as Senior Accounting Officer rules, Criminal Finances Act, Uncertain Tax Positions and an increased audit focus, I need to look at our tax risk registers and consider how we govern our tax compliance.”
The government plans to further reform the research and development (R&D) tax regime.
People are your greatest asset. How can you get the most from them while navigating the complex tax compliance landscape? →