The view from the top | KPMG | AU

The view from the top

The view from the top

Global CEOs see a powerful future for their CFOs. Welcome to the age of the Renaissance CFO.


Partner in Charge, Financial Management

KPMG Australia


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Following on from our ASPAC View from the Top: Are CFO’ ready for the challenge?, the global edition The view from the top surveyed over 500 executives from six continents, and revealed that we have entered the age of the Renaissance CFO.

The findings reaffirm the critical role the CFO plays in the enterprise while also challenging the CFO to think differently and exude stronger leadership capabilities. One thing is clear: something has to change if CFOs are going to close the gap between the expectations of their CEOs and the reality on the ground.

Key highlights of the report

  • Two-thirds (63 percent) of the surveyed CEOs believe that the CFO's role will increase in significance over the next 3 years, as compared with other C-suite roles. The CFO role seems to be the most important in North America (91 percent) and South America (93 percent).
  • Almost one out of three CEOs feel their CFO is not up to the challenge. Thirty percent of the global CEOs say their CFOs don’t understand or assist them enough with the challenges they face with running their organisations.
  • Global experience is the most important attribute a CFO can possess, say 48 percent of all surveyed CEOs. European CEOs (60 percent) seem to value global experience even more than their US counterparts (42 percent).
  • CEOs named the regulatory environment as the external factor that will most influence the future role of the CFO. That is not necessarily a negative: 61 percent of CEOs also see regulation as an opportunity to derive competitive advantage.
  • Leveraging IT, such as cloud-enabled ERP systems, should be the main focus of CFOs in the future, say CEOs. Yet less than half of CEOs from these organisations think their finance functions are doing a good job in exploring and implementing the best new technology.
  • Data and analytics will increasingly drive strategy and profits. Eighty-five percent of CEOs say applying financial data to achieve profitable growth is the greatest strategic value a CFO can bring to an organisation.
  • CEOs put a huge value on people skills, but many see their CFOs as lacking in this area. Almost all (97 percent) of CEOs say attracting and retaining top-notch finance talent is the most or equally important contributing factor in improving the finance function, yet only 33 percent give their CFOs a passing grade in talent management.

© 2017 KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Member firms of the KPMG network of independent firms are affiliated with KPMG International. KPMG International provides no client services. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. All rights reserved.

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