It's a challenging time for U.S. businesses. Economists continue to debate the potential and magnitude of an economic downturn; inflation remains elevated in parts of the economy; low unemployment makes it difficult to recruit. And it still feels like the next financial news headline about supply chain issues, the economy or a geopolitical conflict is just around the corner.
Our third annual survey of more than 1,400 senior U.S. finance professionals shows that they are — and rather than making gradual changes, they are taking a transformative approach.
of finance leaders say rising interest rates and the end of cheap money challenge the sustainability of their finance model.
are exploring and reviewing new technologies to drive business growth and transformation.
work on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting, down from 41% two years ago.
plan to use instant payments in two years, compared with 42% today.
Finance leaders aren’t making changes little by little. The research shows that they’re taking a rounded, transformative approach.
Today, finance leaders say that cost control and driving efficiencies in the finance function is their number one priority. Two years ago, it was only eighth. There will be much less time devoted to growth initiatives such as M&A, evaluating new business models and topics such as sustainable finance and ESG.
Unlike two years ago, finance leaders’ top way of cutting costs is to invest in new technology. And most say that artificial intelligence (AI) could redefine how the finance function operates.
Talent shortages, the pace of technology change and inflation have risen on finance leaders’ agendas. Supply chain disruption and changing customer demands and expectations have dropped down the list.
Finance teams are increasing their use of digital payment methods such as instant payments. By 2025, 68% of them intend to use real-time payment rails including the RTP® network and the FedNow® Service.
Discover how the finance function is repositioning itself as a driver of change by focusing on cost control, digital transformation, talent acquisition and retention, instant payments and more.
As they transform, finance teams will need to refresh and reinforce their capabilities.
If they pull back from activities such as evaluating new business models or measuring their supply chain's exposure to climate change, they could become more vulnerable to long-term risks or miss opportunities. Finance leaders know about this, and it’s getting harder: 56% say they struggle to balance cost-cutting with investment in future growth, compared with 46% two years ago.
Overcoming these challenges needs vision and leadership from the CFO. They must devise a digital transformation strategy, make smart risk mitigation decisions, forge close relations with people across the business, and show they’re willing to experiment with new technology.
They must lead the transformation.
With both the RTP® network and the FedNow® Service up and running, more companies are getting ready to use instant payments. In fact, 68% of finance leaders we surveyed said they plan to use these services within the next two years. Check out our research findings to learn why and to get tips to ease your own adoption of instant payments.
The results of this research come from a survey of 1,420 senior finance leaders working in U.S. businesses. This year’s research follows “Leading through uncertainty,” our 2022 survey of 750 finance leaders. The first edition of the research, "Leading the recovery", was released in 2021.
Every survey respondent works for an organization that generates at least $100 million in annual revenue. This is the percentage of respondents by annual revenue:
By obtaining responses from finance leaders across a wide range of sectors, company sizes and job roles, we are able to provide a report that incorporates a wide range of viewpoints.
This year’s CFO Insights Report offers unique and valuable perspective from senior finance leaders across industries and across the nation. Please complete the form below to receive your PDF copy of the report.