Swiss Army CFO—New Tipalti Research
If there’s anything that UK CFOs have learned in the past two years, it is that not all events can be predicted. The pandemic changed business models, plans, and finances almost overnight and whether you were a business that saw a rise in custom, or one that struggled, the importance for finance teams to be equipped with the right tools to have visibility and control for whatever the scenario was clear.
As we start to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, uncertainty still looms over UK businesses thanks to the constantly evolving post-Brexit environment, supply chain issues, and more unpredictabilities like extreme weather conditions.
To understand how macro issues are contributing to the ever-changing role of the CFO, we surveyed over a thousand CFOs and CEOs in the UK and US to find out their challenges, priorities, and growing to-do lists. What’s more, we looked at the CFO’s changing relationship with the CEO and the Board, with a specific focus on the expectations now placed on the CFO to play a strategic role in the business.
What’s apparent throughout the research is the need for the CFO to be the Swiss Army Knife of the business—able to turn their hand to multiple tasks at speed. In addition to this, the demand on CFOs to find strategic growth opportunities to scale the business is ever-more apparent—to help businesses bounce back and survive whatever is ahead. Yet, the challenge in actioning such mammoth tasks is having the right technology in place to allow them to step back from the day-to-day.
The current climate calls for the need for CFOs to constantly assess priorities and be ready to address the challenges at any moment, but with many still operating with archaic financial infrastructure that requires manual processing, this is a big challenge. Modernising the finance department with technology that automates the entire accounts payable (AP) process while also executing global payments is vital to achieving such plans and growth.
Our report ‘Swiss Army CFO: the priorities and challenges for UK CFOs in 2021 and beyond’ can be downloaded here. In it, you will find full details of our research findings and examples of how Europe’s fastest-growing start-up Hopin revolutionised its finance department to keep up with demand during the pandemic.