Workforce trends


Crunch time for CFOs: Future of finance workforce trends

What’s here and what’s next for work, workforce, and workplace

What’s here and what’s next for work, workforce, and workplace

What do finance workers want? We asked them about topics like flexibility, compensation, and meaningful work. Their answers reveal trends that are forging the workforce of the future. Creating a truly dynamic finance function will require the effective management of this future workforce. It will take an understanding of what they really do—and why.

What we’ve learned (so far)

As finance organizations and employees dealt with the ripple effects of the pandemic—from evolution in work to personal challenges—here’s what we found out:

  • The finance workplace isn’t always where the worker is, but it is always where the work is: The shared digital environment and collaboration tools used by a team. That said, it’s still about finding the right balance between virtual and in-person work.
  • Wherever finance leaders and workers land, from fully back into the office, remote indefinitely, or a hybrid approach, the future implications of finance workforce trends will be real and need to be dealt with by design.
  • Freelancing and gigging went from novelty to the mainstream and became on-demand during crunch periods: tax season, quarterly and year-end closes, and more.
  • Organizations have started matching skills to the work that needs to be done.1 This gives the workers more choice, opportunity, and equity (not to mention meaning and satisfaction).
  • Workers want more—but what do they want? Finance leaders need to ask. A standard human resources engagement survey is likely not enough to manage the workforce of the future.

Find opportunity in trends shaping the workforce of the future

The past few years of unprecedented change, from social upheaval to a global pandemic, have shown workers what they want and don’t want. This is an opportunity for organizations to reimagine their finance function as a dynamic capability that enables the organization to do more: rearchitect the work by applying technology solutions and achieving new outcomes and value; unleash the workforce and engage them in new ways of working; and adapt the workplace so that it reinforces culture and meets employees’ needs for collaboration, physical and remote preferences, and an inclusive, equitable environment.

Our Crunch time report takes an in-depth look at how finance leaders can evolve the work, workforce, and workplace to meet their workers’ needs and the demands of what the future might hold.

OK. So, what do we do now?

To meet your finance workforce where they are, it comes down to one word: reimagine. Take a step back and reimagine your workforce, the work they do, and where they do it—and why. Start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What does our finance organization actually need to do to deliver the most value now?
  • What don’t we know about our workforce? Are we painting them all with the same brush?
  • What do they consider to be valuable work? And do they understand how their work is valuable to the organization and our stakeholders? Do they know why they’re doing the work?
  • What technologies do they need to stay connected with one another and the organization, and to feel valued?

Imagine this

It’s crunch time

Finance was on the path to the future of work before the pandemic—then organizations were propelled into it. Going forward, we can keep the things that worked, such as workplace flexibility and seeing workers for the humans they are, and innovate on what didn’t, like burnout and isolation. By building a finance for the future, a future-thinking CFO can be the leader their organization, and their people, require. (And this leadership must come from Finance, not human resources.) A finance workforce of empowered workers, technology that augments, and a purposefully designed workplace is built for results and resilience, not just reaction. It’s built to be dynamic—regardless of what the future may hold.

Explore other reports and guides in our Crunch time series.


1 Sue Cantrell, “Skills: The new workforce operating system,” Deloitte, October 21, 2021.
2 Deloitte. “Deloitte 2022 Finance Workforce survey,” 2022.

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