CFOs’ top priorities for future-proofing teams include technology investment for talent retention and attraction as well as hiring people with skills in AI and machine learning, said Workday recently when releasing results of a survey that collected responses from more than 260 global CFO.
The survey found that, while talent scarcity and budget constraints remain top challenges, CFOs plan to invest in consumer-like technologies that will help improve the finance employee experience as they seek to mitigate the tight labor market.
In addition, CFOs’ top priorities include hiring people with analytics and data storytelling skills which they didn’t seek five years ago, survey results indicate.
There are four major highlights on CFOs' top priorities from the survey, according to Workday.
Prioritising technology to help attract new hires
Amid the Great Resignation, CFOs are turning to technology to help improve the employee experience and attract finance talent.
The Workday study found that nearly half of CFOs (48%) plan to invest in consumer-like interfaces for finance tasks to attract future finance talent within the next five years.
This technology, including that which automates accounting, reporting, and financial planning and analysis (FP&A) processes, streamlines workflow and gives employees the ability to focus on strategic tasks and helps boost productivity.
Of the CFOs prioritising this, a striking 99% agree that technology updates will become even more important for both attracting and retaining employees.
Ushering in a new generation of finance pros with deeper technology, data storytelling skills
The survey found that becoming a technology-rich employer that continuously refreshes its AI and ML capabilities is a significant priority for CFOs.
When asked about skills they were prioritising today that they weren’t five years ago, 57% of CFOs report they are now searching for AI and ML skills in new hires.
CFOs also hope to enrich finance’s ability to act as a strategic business partner through the use of real-time reporting and analysis, as reflected in the 40% of CFOs now prioritising analytics and data storytelling skills in new hires versus five years ago.
Data-confident CFOs embrace Technology, continue to upskill their teams
The survey identified that more than half (58%) of CFOs already rate their ability to turn data into insights as excellent.
With a committed interest in maintaining this edge, 100% of this data-confident group of CFOs described technology as being very or extremely important to their future success in this fast-changing market while 71% of this group also plans to close the gap on any new functions or capabilities they need to add through upskilling as they look to future-proof their teams.
CFOs remain focused on D&I and ESG
Attracting, upskilling, and retaining talent are top priorities, yet CFOs are not losing focus on diversity and inclusion (D&I) or environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG).
While CFOs at medium enterprises feel less confident in these areas than their large enterprise counterparts, with twice as many citing they struggle with gaps in ESG, the study found more than half (57%) of all CFOs surveyed are prioritising these investments.
Unprecedented stress on supply chains and the environment has spurred CFOs to take action to secure the future of their enterprises, and to do right by their shareholders and customers.