The days of CFOs as archaeologists who relied on historical data for business decisions are over.

Real-time analysis and predictive modelling help businesses to see the future, instead of looking backwards.

As the world continues to change so rapidly, it is up to the finance leaders to set an example and to keep their finger firmly on what’s happening globally.

It’s been proven time and time again, especially during the pandemic, that those who have access to the best digital tools – and the ability to extract valuable insights from the data – are not only successful but also the most resilient.

The finance sector is undergoing its own digital transformation. Companies need to ensure they have the talent and the technology necessary to support and drive their teams and the wider business.

How can CFOs continue to influence company strategy and build resilience?

This article will take a closer look at four trends that we identified in our report, The modern finance report.

What the blog article covers:

  • 1. Sustainability is a strategic concern for CFOs
  • 2. CFOs invest in cryptocurrency
  • 3. CFOs are entering the metaverse
  • 4. CFOs develop a clear ESG strategy and purpose
  • What’s next?

Download your free copy The Modern Finance Report here.

1. Sustainability is a strategic concern for CFOs

Today’s CFO must have a balance between traditional and nontraditional skills (mostly digital).

A CFO who is future-focused will be able to make decisions on an ESG programme, or a strategy for adopting cryptocurrency, the same day.

You need to be flexible and prepared to engage in ESG initiatives as well as champion them within your organisation.

Nearly a third of you (30%) say that you would like to have a greater role in the supervision and reporting on existing sustainability programmes.

It is important to be aware of the most recent sustainability issues and to know where your business stands in relation to these.

Talk to key stakeholders in your company about putting together a financial viable plan that will take your ESG initiative to the next stage.

2. CFOs invest in cryptocurrency

Nearly half of UK finance leaders (44%) believe decentralised currencies are “extremely viable” as a payment solution for the long term.

Just 2% of you said you had no interest in using or investing in cryptocurrencies.

According to our report, there are some CFOs who have concerns about using crypto.

Openness to non-traditional roles will provide you with the fuel to drive crypto adoption within your organisation.

Only 13% of UK financial leaders said their companies accepted cryptocurrency as payment at the moment, but a third (33%) have plans to do this in the coming year. This is important for staying competitive on the global market.

This suggests that crypto adoption will be increasing in the near future.

Bitcoin’s low environmental credentials will also be a point of contention when it comes time to enforce ESG policies in business.

It is due to the way Bitcoin is mined. The energy-intensive verification process involves computers, and the average transaction consumes more than 1,700kWh.

This concern can be put to rest in the future if cryptocurrency mining companies commit to using lower-carbon energy or if organisations decide to accept only less-energy-intensive crypto, such as Ethereum.

Download a free copy of the The Modern finance report and learn how to prepare for the future.

3. CFOs are entering the metaverse

Finance leaders are examining the potential of the convergence of digital and physical life.

Metaverse is a digital network that connects people via virtual environments.

Although it is still in its infancy stage, it can be a goldmine for organisations, allowing them to release human resources when possible.

This emerging technology, for example, could provide finance teams with more accurate and frictionless methods of working.

UK-based organisations are tiptoeing into virtual environments–caution is the key theme here.

More than half of finance leaders (58%) claim to have made moderate progress in the metaverse but have still a long way to go.

What’s the best approach to the metaverse?

It is important to ensure that your team has the non-traditional skills needed to enter the metaverse.

In order to achieve this, 54% UK finance leaders have said they are preparing professional development courses around the metaverse.

A company must take a number of steps to prepare for the metaverse.

As part of their preparation, UK finance leaders say that they are preparing to meet new financial regulations (49%) by exploring new accounting or finance processes (47%) or purchasing virtual real estate using NFTs ( Non-Fungible Tokens).

4. CFOs develop a clear ESG strategy and purpose

ESG is the focus of today’s finance futureist. 80% of UK’s CFOs increased their involvement with these initiatives over the last year. However, some are looking to go even further.

Around a third CFOs are interested in committing a certain amount of their budget or resources to sustainability programs.

The UK CFOs are committed to ensuring that their ESG programmes are effective and employees are engaged.

Nine out of 10 (93%) UK finance leaders are in agreement that their ESG program is running efficiently and getting the most for the budget allocated. The UK finance leaders can build on this foundation to make their ESG programmes even more effective in the future.

Finance leaders working for UK non profit organisations are, unsurprisingly, the ones most concerned about societal issues.

Interesting, however, is that fewer non-profit leaders in finance say they are ready to use digital tools to improve their sustainability as compared to those from other industries. Less than a third of them (31%) claim to be prepared.

What’s next?

Here are some of the key insights that we have uncovered in our latest report The Modern Finance Report.

Download the report to find out more about the state of the industry and how you can prepare for the next phase.

SOURCE: Sage.com