cfo perspectives 2017

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CFO Perspectives

Hear insights and perspectives from thought leaders and CFO peers

The program harnesses our organization’s broad capabilities to deliver forward thinking and fresh insights for every stage of a CFO’s career – helping CFOs manage the complexities of their roles, tackle their company’s most compelling challenges and adapt to strategic shifts in the market.

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CFO Program offerings

Next Generation CFO Academy: Start ahead

Offered in various member firms, finance executives nominated by their CFOs are offered this first-of-its-kind development and networking opportunity, which is designed to enhance the “next generation’s” ability to become a great CFO.

CFO Transition Lab: Plan ahead

Offered in various member firms, this powerful experience is designed to help newly appointed CFOs, including those with prior CFO experiences, make an efficient and effective transition.

CFO Conference: Look ahead

Offered in various member firms, the conference provides an opportunity to hear insights and perspectives from thought leaders in business, politics and media – and engage in thought-provoking dialogue among your CFO peers.

CFO Forums: Stay ahead

Offered in scores of cities in nine countries, CFO Forums provide a unique opportunity for CFOs to network with peers, explore challenging issues and share leading practices.

Insights and ideas: Think ahead

Global CFO Signals
This quarterly compendium provides highlights of recent CFO survey results from Deloitte member firms. It includes opinions on a range of areas including the economic outlook, financial markets business trends, their organizations and CFO careers.

CFO Insights
This bi-weekly publication from Deloitte tackles the timely issues that CFOs and senior finance executives face today with practical advice.

The CFO Journal
An online publication from The Wall Street Journal, featuring a regular stream of CFO-centric content and timely features from Deloitte, including insights and analysis, which appear in a separate module.

For more information, please e-mail us at globalcfoprogram@deloitte.com.

The Deloitte CFO Program is celebrating its 10th anniversary

Deloitte’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Program brings together a multidisciplinary team of Deloitte leaders and subject matter specialists to help CFOs stay ahead in the face of growing challenges and demands.

2021

CFO Perspectives – April 2021

CFO speaks: “We live in a Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) world that has been further affected by the pandemic. A CFO needs to do day-to-day firefighting to ensure the ship is steered in the right financial direction.”

Expert views: The widening gap of sector-wise credit lending in the economy is a concern for a nation that wants to grow as a global manufacturing hub.

CFO Perspectives – March 2021

CFO speaks: “With tax reforms and changes in Tax Deducted at Source (TDS), cost of compliance for banks and the financial services sector will see a marginal uptick, where the overall cost outlay would increase. However, the good part is that effort towards digitisation and other areas are now getting covered under the tax bracket.”

Expert views: Faster change is not always a positive change. But many of the trends accelerated by the pandemic look likely to make the world a better place. Greater use of cloud, and open or virtual Radio Access Network (RAN) solutions, may make software and cellular service more affordable for the economically disadvantaged. We may also do so more sustainably, helping not just people but the planet too.

CFO Perspectives – February 2021

CFO speaks: “The role of CFOs goes well beyond managing the company’s finances. CFOs across the board are driving operational gains and steering their companies’ growth strategies. In a start-up, one has to establish a set of baseline capabilities that must be well developed to support growth.”

Expert views: In Budget 2021, the government made macro-level policy changes and laid out proposals on infrastructure, healthcare, and disinvestment in public-sector banks and general insurance company. It has also tried to plug tax anomalies, including claim of tax depreciation on goodwill.

CFO Perspectives – January 2021

CFO speaks: “Finance is usually the most chased function. Hence, we are monitoring our turnaround time and how many times we are being chased from both internal and external stakeholders for any particular task. Our objective is to minimise the number of such instances and proactively resolve issues. The first step, in line with this objective, is to gather the required information and remove bottlenecks to make the system simpler and efficient.”

Expert views: As the global economy is gradually transitioning from the respond phase to the recovery phase, India is also looking at riding on the positive consumer sentiments to return to normalcy. Between the complete lockdown, the relaxed stay at home orders, and the gradual unlocking of the economy, quite
a few things have changed in the consumer industry landscape and economic activity has picked up. Although economies across the world are in various stages of re-opening, workplaces and factory floors in India have again started bustling with increasing levels of activity. However, the normal acts of visiting a store, eating out, staying in a hotel, or taking a flight have become a cause of concern for people across different age groups. Consumers are likely to spend with caution and save more to prepare for worse times.

2020

CFO Perspectives – December 2020

CFO speaks: “While the demand for office spaces has softened with tenants taking longer to commit to newer spaces, the tightening of financing by financial institutions is also expected to result in supply contraction. This is expected to provide consolidation opportunities for Grade A asset owners.”

Expert views: Nearly 43 percent respondents felt that their existing Fraud Risk Management (FRM) frameworks were inadequate to address future frauds. Procurement and information technology were identified as processes most vulnerable to fraud risks. Third parties were identified as being most likely to indulge in unethical practices amounting to fraud, underscoring the deteriorating trust in business.

CFO Perspectives – November 2020

CFO speaks: “We did not have liquidity issues, but still I feel ‘liquidity management’ was a time-consuming activity, and it required a lot of attention and detailing. Till date, it consumes a lot of time while looking at balance sheets and operational expenses, and we do not know how long this pandemic scenario will last.”

Expert views: With a new norm ushering in since the COVID-19 crisis, banks will have to keep a foot on the accelerator, and continue with digital transformation to sustain and thrive during and after the pandemic.

 

CFO Perspectives – October 2020

CFO speaks: “The e-commerce industry will continue to grow in the current scenario due to the three major advantages that it provides to consumers with the three Cs - Convenience of shopping, Choice of products, and Cost effectiveness. We, as an industry, need to realise this to reap the benefits, and provide more efficient deliveries by utilising technology to our advantage.”

Expert views: The current pandemic has forced financial institutions across the globe to adapt to an entirely new environment. With regulators across the globe and other bodies such as Financial Action Task Force (FATF) coming up with additional guidance combined with increased transaction volumes, changing pattern of customer behaviours, and new emerging risks, the traditional rule-based TM system may not be sufficient.

CFO Perspectives – September 2020

CFO speaks: “As a CFO, you are bound to stay relevant to the client always and business continuity is of utmost importance. CFOs have continued to give constant real-time inputs to management on portfolios. They have kept a constant vigil on liquidity and working capital requirements, especially for banks, for which they have to meet regulatory and business asks for capital.”

Expert views: COVID-19 has significantly affected the Indian economy. Multiple sectors are facing the pressure as economic activities receded or were temporarily suspended in hope of an early vaccine/flattening of the virus curve. After six months, the world is gradually realizing that we need to start preparing ourselves to live with the virus. Businesses, education, and communities need to start embracing the new normal.

CFO Perspectives – August 2020

CFO speaks: “We are seeing higher sales for home furnishing solutions, office furniture for home, children’s furniture range, and cooking and eating solutions that offer convenience. India is also moving more towards a DIY (do it yourself) culture at home and our range offers many solutions for that.”

Expert views: COVID-19 has put immense pressure on every organization to re-assess their financial health. On one hand, the CFO’s role has been expanded as a ‘steward’ to protect the critical assets of the organisation, employee wellbeing, and company finances. On the other hand, the CFOs’ are expected to be trusted advisers to business in providing critical data, analyses, and insights for decision making. CFOs seem to have no option but to make their organisations resilient and assist in bringing in significant changes to the organisation’s current operating model, cost structures, assets, and supply chains to thrive in a business of tomorrow.

CFO Perspectives – July 2020

CFO speaks: “We had more challenges during the initial phase of lockdown, since there was confusion on ground at certain locations about the supply chain and transport related restrictions even for essential services. There were gaps in the interpretation of lockdown orders by local authorities and hence, we were in constant touch with Government officials to get things resolved. It took us some time initially, but then we had proper approvals in place for transportation of goods to our customers.”

Expert views: As organisations operate on an unstable ground with changes in business modalities, relaxed controls, and new ways of working, they will also deal with new and increased vulnerabilities in certain avenues as a result of the new operating model and a stressed global economy. 

2019

CFO Perspectives – December 2019

CFO speaks: “In today’s world, the CFO’s key characteristic is to stay connected with the external market environment. Today the CFO is required to understand the market movement, how he could steer the process of growth with strategic initiatives in the organisation in a more sustained and controlled manner.”

Expert views: As more companies embark on the journey toward digital transformation, however, not all travel at the same pace. The extent to which an organization can weave its insight into digital capabilities throughout its culture—embedding it in every function and activity—is a measure of its digital maturity.

CFO Perspectives – November 2019

CFO speaks: “CFOs need to ensure that they stay relevant for the business by helping them to drive their business more efficiently. It is important to showcase this relevance to the management and team members by partnering more with the business.”

Expert views: In the midst of the capital-allocation process, it’s often a struggle for CFOs to find common ground between all of the projects competing for funding and the stakeholders with their conflicting objectives. As part of their decision making, CFOs typically look for a balance between directing funds into strategic and longer term investments and making shorter-term bets to generate cash flow.

CFO Perspectives – October 2019

CFO speaks: “It is a great sign that the government is increasingly focussed on healthcare. We now have a slew of what is famously called the `Modicare’ reforms, with greater spend on healthcare, with specific emphasis on affordability and access to medicines.”

Expert views: Most companies are moving in a digital direction—just not all at the same pace. Various companies are at various stages of maturity in their digital transformation journey.

CFO Perspectives – September 2019

CFO speaks: “The environment is uncertain so it is our adaptability and innovations in our products which helps us in sustaining revenue and growth.”

Expert views: The need for creativity seems more apparent than ever. One symptom may be the current growth shortfalls at some companies. A recent analysis of Fortune 500 companies found that more than one-third (38%) experienced a decline of revenue between 2014 and 2016.

CFO Perspectives – April 2019

CFO speaks: “We value our brands, our people and are now building digital capabilities. With all three in symphony, we are well positioned to capture the FMCG opportunity in India for the foreseeable future.”

Expert views: In a poll of nearly 3,000 Finance and business leaders conducted during a Deloitte webcast, 41 percent said that they have cloud technologies in place or are in the process of implementing. Another 16 percent said they are currently assessing cloud options.

CFO Perspectives – March 2019

CFO speaks: “As a CFO it is important to keep the team motivated by giving them an opportunity to grow and move from one area to another and diversify their skill sets. It is important to identify high talent and high potential people, and show them the right career path.”

Expert views: A data-driven approach to macro-economy outlook, consumer sector briefings, mergers and acquisitions and consumer market, makes it a comprehensive resource that equips retailers with all that they need to understand the new-age Indian consumer in the context of the market.

CFO Perspectives – February 2019

CFO speaks: “As I see, the current liquidity scenario is more of a confidence crisis than a liquidity crisis. To cite an example, without oxygen (read liquidity), almost all Non-banking Financial Company (NBFCs) have survived for almost a
quarter now. I think they have managed well, of course at the cost of growth but that is how it is.”

Expert views: The year 2019 is expected to be the inflection point for conversational artificial intelligence (AI) in India, with voice assistants witnessing wider adoption beyond smart speakers. Information access and entertainment are likely to be the key applications, driving the use of voice assistants in the next two-to-three years.

CFO Perspectives – January 2019

CFO speaks: “To foster an environment of innovation, a CFO cannot be always looking at cutting costs, rather needs to be open-minded and encourage the right budgets.”

Expert views: The top three reasons for fraud include: Lack of an efficient internal control/ compliance system, diminishing ethical values, and
senior management override of controls.

2018

CFO Perspectives – December 2018

CFO speaks: “The role of a CFO is evolving with the advent of data analytics and new technologies, which are altering the way he or she understands and reacts to business complexities.”

Expert views: The risk landscape is evolving. Every day’s headlines bring new reminders that the future is on its way, and new risks and response strategies are around every corner. Risk leaders are faced with new challenges and opportunities at a pace very different from that of the past.

CFO Perspectives – August 2018

CFO speaks: “A recent study indicates that 40% of the jobs that exist today will cease to exist in a decade from now. So the focus really should be in training our employees, our students, our children and ourselves, on skills of the future.”

Expert views: Digital is transforming companies across diverse sectors, societies and lives. All this is taking place thanks to the connected era of devices, human-machine interface, intelligent systems and products.

CFO Perspectives – July 2018

CFO speaks: “In today’s VUCA world, it is important to be a learning organisation and learn from your mistakes, as well as the mistakes by other organisations, so that you do not land in an inappropriate situation.”

Expert views: In business, robots are working alongside human beings to build cars, deliver packages, design computers, and make electricity. Blockchain is tracking supplies of diamonds and monitoring construction equipment, and smart machines are taking up residence in hospitals, shipping containers, drug stores, and more.

CFO Perspectives – June 2018

CFO speaks: “There are a plethora of opportunities today and one needs to really dip into all of them. Digital and IT provides an opportunity to bring about disruptive increase in efficiency in back office and also in customer facing operations.”

Expert views: The key to unlock and monetize the payments data would depend on how an organization uses transaction-level data in conjunction with other external data, converting raw data into composite and transformed data, coupled with right granularity and dimensions. This would require companies to either develop strong analytical capabilities in-house, or build strategic partnerships.

CFO Perspectives – May 2018

CFO speaks: “CFOs are becoming increasingly involved in business strategy, and need to fully understand company’s operations. It is critical for a CFO to work with business to deliver growth and improve our margins.”

Expert views: Increased transparency and heightened political awareness have drawn widespread attention to business’ role in society as a driver of change. Organizations find they are increasingly expected to exercise their ability to do social good, both externally for customers, communities and society, as well as internally for their employees.

CFO Perspectives – April 2018

CFO speaks: “CFOs role could be best described as an on-going balance between creating value on one hand, and on the other, protecting value.”

Expert views: Globally, several large organizations have taken integrated reporting as a reason to revisit their strategies, their public communications, their interactions with investors and employees and also their operations.

CFO Perspectives – March 2018

CFO speaks: As disruption evolves further, the CFO will move from holding a perspective that effective execution is the primary driver of results, to one that recognizes that realized value is a function of strategic and operational alignment.

Expert views: The technology, media and telecommunications sectors remain as fascinating as ever in 2018. Many milestones will be reached this year. Progress will be exponential in some fields. But in other areas the way in which we live and work may shift imperceptibly.

CFO Perspectives – February 2018

CFO speaks: Profitability and cash are important factors for any business to sustain. It is important for CFOs to see how we grow profitably and to identify the channels and brands which would give us incremental profitability as opposed to the legacy business.

Expert views: After facing a temporary dip due to demonetization and implementation of GST, the Indian economy is inching back to 7% plus growth rate. The IMF expects India to grow at a rate of 7.4% next year.

CFO Perspectives – January 2018

CFO speaks: Regulatory compliance is of utmost importance and it keeps CFOs awake at night. We have so many rules and regulations to comply per the local policy of each country and new regulations are also announced by the countries as they become more vigilant. As a CFO, these activities become very time consuming and an extra effort is required to keep these things in place, apart from our daily work schedule.

Expert views: The financial distribution channels across banks, mutual fund houses, insurance companies and other NBFCs prioritize differentiation, customer service, efficiency, and convenience. While the financial industry has migrated to several innovative distribution channels, the need for regulatory reforms takes higher precedence.

 

2017

CFO Perspectives – December 2017

CFO speaks: CFO is no longer just the controller or the book keeper. The CFO is very much part of overall business strategy – providing insight and analysis to support the CEO and ensuring that business decisions are grounded in sound financial criteria. This is a huge transformation and essential for one to be in the game.

Expert views: The financial services industry may be one of the firsts to be impacted by wider adoption of Blockchain and its associated Distributed Ledger Technologies. The extent of this impact is contingent on how nimbly the industry players capitalize on this technology and the nature of support it garners from wider stakeholders.

CFO Perspectives – November 2017

CFO speaks: It is very clear that transaction processing and accounting are getting automated, and the time CFOs spend on these activities has substantially come down. In the next few years, these activities will get further automated and CFOs will play very little role in the adoption of new accounting standards which are increasingly getting complex.

Expert views: Artificial Intelligence and cognitive technologies requires careful analysis of an organization’s processes, its data, its talent model, and its market. Use of cognitive technologies is not viable everywhere, nor is it valuable everywhere. In some areas, it will become vital. We think the greatest advantage of cognitive technologies is its potential to create value, going beyond cost optimization.

CFO Perspectives – October 2017

CFO speaks: With technology, every status quo is being challenged. In the last 5 years we have seen computers shrinking and becoming more efficient. Technology is changing rapidly and we do not know what will happen in the next 5 years.

Expert views: India will account for more than half of the increase in Asia’s workforce in the coming decade, but this isn’t just a story of more workers: these new workers will be much better trained and educated than the existing Indian workforce, and there will be rising economic potential coming alongside that, thanks to an increased share of women in the workforce, as well as an increased ability and interest in working for longer. The consequences for businesses are huge.

CFO Perspectives – September 2017

CFO speaks: Disruption is good; it has helped us to re-model, re-focus, and innovate.

Expert views: Within the digital payment ecosystem, the mobile wallets have played a crucial role in processing digital transactions, especially after the announcement on demonetization by the Indian government last year.

CFO Perspectives – August 2017

CFO speaks: We work in a business environment where finance has a very critical role to play. In addition to the basic accounting, control and governance functions, we have enhanced our role by becoming effective partners to the business heads thereby helping optimize operational efficiency.

Expert views: The Financial sector space in India is experiencing seismic shifts. Technology has been a key enabler in this transformation, but its pace has not been commensurate with its potential, and this has limited the penetration of financial services in the country.

CFO Perspectives – July 2017

CFO speaks: In any business risks are inevitable but what is important is to keep them within manageable limits to sustain growth. It is important to “design and create the right processes to improve the speed and efficiency of the service delivery by the finance organization”.

Expert views: Financial crime is not just an event – a thing that happens. It’s a constant pressure – a risk that’s present at different stages in every part of financial services and corporate organizations. Compliance-based approaches addressing particular risks in a siloed or piecemeal fashion need to give way to holistic approaches that look at many types of financial crime risk across the multiple lines of business within the organization.

CFO Perspectives – June 2017

CFO speaks: “Data is the oil of the future” and many players are swiftly developing capabilities of using this data efficiently to gain an edge in their business. We need to transform and think differently for the future.

Expert views: The rate of technological change is so fast that our ability to understand the implications of it has never been so important. Start-up companies unburdened by inertia or market expectations are growing faster than ever and challenging incumbents.

 

CFO Perspectives – May 2017

CFO speaks: Every organization has to constantly evolve its operations and processes to maintain or improve the profitability and stay ahead of the changing environment and variables. One should not isolate Finance and Operations because every action has a financial and operational implication.

Expert views: India has sought to address the issues relating to tax avoidance and evasion by bringing in General Anti-Avoidance Rule (GAAR) in addition to various transaction-specific Special Anti- Avoidance provisions. Deloitte India answers some simple but key questions about GAAR.

CFO Perspectives – April 2017

CFO speaks: “My success mantra is—always believe in empowering your team by giving them the right degree of freedom. It will inculcate a sense of belongingness in your team. Invest in developing yourself and your team through structured training and cross-functional exposure.”

Expert views: The world is changing faster than anyone could have envisioned at the beginning of the 21st century. With technology at the forefront of every disruption across industries today, every element of an organization’s business model is being challenged.

RPA is a technology that mimics the actions of a human performing simple rule-based processes. It interacts at the application/interface layer of any application and performs the exact steps just like anyone working across multiple applications.

CFO Perspectives – March 2017

CFO speaks: Winner is the one who is able to bring good price for products and services to the customers, along with a ‘wow’ customer experience.

Expert views: Deloitte India predicts that in 2017, mobile and digital payments will finally overtake physical card payments as the predominant non-cash payment mode. The use of cards has grown significantly in the past few years.

CFO Perspectives – February 2017

CFO speaks: Budget for the infrastructure segment has been positive and adequate thrust has been given to the much required low cost housing and funding for the infra projects. The game changer for the infrastructure segment could be availability of longer term hedging instruments and preferred rates for better rated institutions.

Expert views: Corporate India believes fraud will rise in the coming years, according to majority of respondents to the India Fraud Survey, Edition II, by Deloitte. About 70 of respondents representing large organizations (multinationals and domestic companies), 54% of respondents representing small and medium enterprises, and 65% of working professionals indicated corporate fraud would rise in the future.

CFO Perspectives – January 2017

CFO speaks: In coming times, the rationalization of tax structure and government revenues from taxation are also expected to go up. Demonetization will also be a big boost to GST implementation, as majority of informal sector will now tend to be accountable to a greater extent.

Expert views: The risk landscape is changing fast. Headlines bring new reminders that the future is on its way, and sometimes it feels like new risks and response strategies are around every corner. The outlines of new opportunities and new challenges for risk leaders—indeed, all organizational leaders—are already visible. So what should leaders prepare for?

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