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CFO Signals Survey

Think ahead

This quarterly survey tracks the latest thinking and actions of CFOs representing Japanese largest and most influential companies. CFO Signals is a “pulse survey” that provides CFOs with information regarding their peers’ thinking across a variety of topics.

CFO Signals | 2018 Q2

This edition of the survey was conducted in July 2018 and received responses from the CFOs of 25 companies. As for Japan-specific topics, we chose to ask CFOs about working-style reform in accounting and finance departments. “Working-style reform” is a buzzword that has been in use in Japan for quite some time now. It refers to reforms intended to improve productivity in companies and enhance the work-life balance of employees. In this survey, we narrowed the focus to accounting and finance departments and went about analyzing the state of working-style reform in these departments.

Contents:
Financial environment prospects
Business performance outlook
Uncertainty
Key change factors in the Japanese economy
Key change factors in the global economy
Working-style reform in accounting and finance departments
Details of initiatives for reforming working styles in accounting and finance departments
The impact of working-style reform
Barriers to working-style reform  

(PDF, 525KB)

CFO Signals | 2018 Q1

This edition of survey was conducted in April 2018 and received responses from the CFOs of 33 companies.As for Japan specific topic, this survey asked CFOs of expected roles of the finance division in Japanese companies, their financial management systems, progress on initiatives toward global financial management, and financial risk monitoring and reporting.

Contents:
Financial environment prospects
Business performance outlook
Uncertainty
Key change factors in the Japanese economy
Key change factors in the global economy
Role(s) of the finance division
Global financial management structures
Initiatives toward financial management on a global level
Monitoring financial risks
Reporting data from each group company 

(PDF, 377KB)

CFO Signals | 2017 Q4

Accounting processes, initiatives to improve them, and future prospectshas been featured as the hot topic in this survey for Japan. This survey was conducted in January 2018 and received responses from the
CFOs of 47 companies.

Contents:
Financial environment prospects
Business performance outlook
Uncertainty
Key change factors in the Japanese economy
Key change factors in the global economy
Risks are still seen on the Korean Peninsula and in relation to the Trump administration.
Initiatives to improve accounting processes
Target divisions/departments
Scope of the initiatives
Objectives of the initiatives
On initiatives to improve accounting processes going forward

(PDF, 282 KB)

CFO Signals | 2017 Q3

Business management and financial results management.has been featured as the hot topic in this survey for Japan. This survey was conducted in October 2017 and received responses from the
CFOs of 60 companies.

Contents:
Financial environment prospects
Business performance outlook
Uncertainty
Key change factors in the Japanese economy
Key change factors in the global economy
Issues related to business management and financial results management
Degree of utilization of information systems in business management and financial results management
On financial target management systems
On financial target creation and results forecasts
On the creation of financial results forecasts

(PDF, 240KB)

CFO Signals | 2017 Q2

The ho topic for this survey was how CFOs and their finance teams go about implementing cloud computing and AI. This edition of the survey was conducted in July 2017, receiving responses from 46 companies.

Contents:
Financial environment prospects
Business performance outlook
Uncertainty
Key change factors in the Japanese economy
Key change factors in the global economy
Use of cloud computing
Concerns about cloud computing
Areas where AI/Cognitive can be used
Concerns about AI/Cognitive

(PDF, 191KB)

CFO Signals | 2017 Q1

The impact of the rapid progress of digital technology on corporate management and the CFO / finance team has been featured as the hot topic in this survey for Japan. This survey was conducted from April 3rd to April 13th, and answers from the CFOs of 38 companies were obtained.

Contents:
Prostepct of the financial environment
Business performance outlook
Uncertainty
Key points that can influence the Japanese economy
Key points that can influence Western counties’ economies
Key points that can influence the Chinese / emerging countries’ economies
How the progress of digital technology such as AI, IoT and Cloud computing influences accounting operations
How the finance team should change to deal with digitalization
Expectation form digital technologies
Utilization of digital technology
Investment objectives and expectations in implementation of information technologies

(PDF, 445KB)

CFO Signals | 2016 Q4

The impact of Robotic Process Automation RPA and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to corporate affairs has been featured as the hot topic in this survey for Japan. This survey was conducted from January 10th to January 20th, and answers from the CFOs of 45 companies were obtained.

Contents:
Financial environmental prospect
Business performance outlook
Uncertainty
The perspective of global and major economies
Events you regard as important when considering potential risks dor the Japanese economy
Adopting robotic process automation and artificial intelligence
Recognition of RPA and AI
Automation of the business by RPA
Developing RPA in he future
The future of accounting / the finance function

(PDF, 294KB)

CFO Signals | 2016 Q3

Company rejuvenation has been featured as the hot topic in this survey for Japan. This survey was conducted at the CFO VISION conference on September 27th. The responses from 108 CFOs was obtained, but also included respondents who did not attend the conference.

Contents:
Financial environmental prospect
The prospects of performance
Uncertainty
Events CFOs regard as important when considering potential risk scenarios for the Japanese Economy
Events CFOs regard as important when considering potential risk scenarios for the US Economy
Events CFOs regard as important when considering potential risk scenarios for the EUs Economy
Events CFOs regard as important when considering potential risk scenarios for the Chinese Economy
Obstacles for company rejuvenation
Fundamental thoughts on company rejuvenation

(PDF,365KB)

CFO Signals | 2016 Q2

As the hot topic in this survey in Japan, finance business partnering is featured.
This survey was conducted from June 2016 to July 2016, obtaining the answers from the CFO of 30 companies.

Contents:
Financial environment outlook
Business performance prospect
Uncertainty
Prospect of global economy and economies in major countries
Structural reforms needed for the Japanese economy The restructure policy that is found for Japanese economy
Future point of interest attention point
Survey on finance business partnering
CFO's awareness and the reality
Participation in planning to the decision-making place
Challengees and bottlenecks for the finance organization
Ability considered to be important for finance to participate in decision making and and current fill rate
Improvement measures for the accounting and finance function

(PDF, 272KB)

CFO Signals | 2016 Q1

Finance talent has been featured as the hot topic in this survey for Japan.
This survey was conducted from March 2016 to April 2016, obtaining the answers from the CFO of 36 companies.

Contents:
Financial environmental prospect
The prospects of performance
Uncertainty
The impact of the Negative Interest Rate Policy by Bank of Japan
Factors for the success of Abenomics
Future points of interest
The area which finance functions should be strengthened
Required skills for finance talents in the future
The bottlenecks when you think about assuring / developing finance talents
The company policies that is “in process”, “planning” or “do not plan”
The career of CFOs and the experiences they recommend to future CFOs
How the CFOs feel about sending good talent out of the finance function

(PDF, 747KB)

CFO Signals | 2015 Q4

Global M&As are featured as the “hot topic” in this survey conducted in Japan.
This survey was conducted between December 2015 and January 2016, and answers from the CFOs of 33 companies were obtained.

Contents:
Survey on the economic environment
Prospects for the financial environment
Business performance outlook
Uncertainty
Prospects for baseline scenarios and risk scenarios
Trigger event for risk scenariosMain upcoming concerns
Surveyon organizational ability for global M&As
Issues surrounding global M&A activities
Search for M&A opportunities
Role of headquarters and regional headquarters (RHQ) in global M&As
Role of CFO in global M&As
Financial standards for deciding on global M&As
Obstacles to M&A investment

(PDF, 318KB)
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