The top strategic business priorities shared by CFOs and CEOs
No. 1: Meet — or and exceed — growth expectations
“Balancing future growth investments and CEO expectations while still tightly managing cost and cash flow is the tightrope CFOs must walk in the back half of 2023,” says Horvat. As such, it’s an imperative to encourage profitable growth through capital responsiveness, which requires the ability to:
- Ruthlessly prioritize projects that align with strategic business priorities.
- Make significant, rather than incremental, changes to where capital is allocated.
- Quickly shift capital away from low value to high uses.
Few companies consistently do any of these three things, but those who do see real benefits, earning, on average, 2.5 points more in economic value added than their peers.
No. 2: Keep investing in technology
Still, it’s most likely not in play yet: 80% of finance functions that are using AI have only done so in the past two years. Five forces are driving CFOs and CEOs to unlock the power of AI, specifically generative AI:
- Boards and CEOs expect C-suite leaders to protect the organization while driving broad use case adoption.
- Customers continue to leverage generative AI in their daily lives, which affects their expectations for user experience.
- Employees are concerned about job loss, yet may eventually leave organizations where they can’t fully leverage generative AI.
- Investors expect new sources of growth and much better margins, placing pressure on leaders to deliver results.
- It has the potential to create new markets and/or new lines of business for organizations to expand service offerings and increase revenue.
No. 3: Prioritize workforce issues and address the talent shortage
- Offer your employees the opportunity to upskill and develop digital skills — for example, through a digital accelerator program.
- Create a shared sense of purpose and belonging to improve retention.
- Revamp job descriptions to make them outcomes-based, engaging, human, skimmable and focused on growth — and attract top-tier finance candidates.