CFOs Are In the Hot Seat

CFO blog image
March 18, 2014

The role of CFO has expanded, according to recent trends. It no longer only encompasses the core finance function, but now has an increased strategic role within the company.

According to the Korn/Ferry Institute, 75 percent of CFOs said they are being asked to take on more operational responsibility.1 CFOs are in the position to provide more value to their organization by developing short- and long-term objectives and bringing their expert advice to the CEO and the board.

As the role of the CFO expands, finance and accounting teams are also taking on larger roles including reporting and analytics requirements. An organizational shift is happening—it is essential for teams to spend more time collaborating and implementing strategic plans to successfully drive business objectives.

Teams are working against tighter reporting deadlines with the weight of producing accurate data on their shoulders. Reporting teams are being asked to collect, manage, and report more information than ever before without increasing the size of their teams. These teams need technology that can help them do more with less.

Increased collaboration, a streamlined process, and accurate data are just a few benefits that can provide some stress relief and keep employees happy.

Driving performance by retaining top talent

In the past, finance and accounting teams often worked within a "silo" of their organization, making it difficult to effectively communicate to internal and external teams. This siloed approach is still a concern and is difficult to address when traditional reporting software lacks the ability to help teams collaborate, streamline processes, and produce accurate reports.

52 percent of CFOs rank "communicating with senior executives, board members, and investors" as one of the top abilities they would like finance professionals to possess in order to be an integral part of the organization.


However, most finance organizations don't have technology in place to make this a reality. Professionals who not only have the financial knowledge—but also the ability to effectively communicate across company departments, learn new technologies and processes, and how to mitigate risk—will be valuable assets.

Embracing technology creates more time for data analysis

Advancements in technology have offered a lending hand to CFOs by helping finance professionals fill the gaps to successfully meet these new demands.

It's not just about having the technical expertise. CFOs also need a basic understanding of ERP, IT, and other systems, so finance and accounting can manage the data and provide value to strategic business decisions.

The ability to collaborate with internal and external teams will streamline reporting process, allowing finance teams to spend more time analyzing data instead of formatting data. This eliminates the "just getting by each day" mindset and motivates employees to come to work, make a positive impact, learn new technologies, and continually strive to gain industry expertise.


    1"CFO Pulse Survey." (2013). The Korn/Ferry Institute. Retrieved from

    2"A Widening Talent Gap Poses Risks for Finance." (2013). The Wall Street Journal, CFO Journal, and Deloitte Insights. Retrieved from

Andy Klopstad

About the author

Andy Klopstad is a Director of Product Marketing at Workiva. He has over 19 years of experience with product marketing and international business.