9 out of 10 CFOs seek greater strategic role in company - Deloitte research

30 May 2013 - Conference to hear that finance business partnering key to driving new business wins and revenues.

An overwhelming majority of Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), 91%, are looking to increase the time they spend on finance business partnering within their organisations over the next three years, according to research with some of the country’s top CFOs by Deloitte in Ireland. Effective finance business partnering is the role that finance undertakes to support and challenge the business in ensuring that the chosen business strategies deliver the required shareholder value.

‘Commercial acumen’ was ranked the number one competency required by a finance business partner. Investment in finance systems to facilitate business partnering activity was highlighted as critical for success, with over 30% of respondents identifying inadequate finance systems as the number one barrier to effective finance business partnering.  

Better financial performance and enablement of key strategic initiatives are identified as the top two benefits to organisations that have deployed a finance business partnering model.

Commenting, Alan Flanagan, Partner in Deloitte, said:

 “The CFO role is more complex than ever, with greater demands and expectations being placed on the role.  The result has seen a re-balancing of the CFO agenda, as the finance function continues to perform the traditional role of steward and controllership, while at the same time enabling performance improvement, business change and transformation initiatives. The results indicate very clearly that finance business partnering is at the forefront of the Irish CFO’s agenda.”

The survey is released ahead of the annual Deloitte CFO Forum held in Dublin today which will see presentations on the role of the CFO in business partnering by a number of keynote speakers including Ian Livingston, CEO of BT plc, Brian Mehigan, CFO of Kerry Group plc, Donal Flynn, Group Finance Director of ESB, and Aogán O’hAoláin, Executive Director Finance, UK, France, Germany, of Dell EMEA.

 “The expectation for finance to add greater value to the business is growing.  Successful finance business partners are seen as leaders that can influence the decisions that a business makes to maximise shareholder value. The Deloitte research in Ireland shows that CFOs are putting in place strategies to address the finance business partnering priority over the next three years,” concluded Flanagan.

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