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Is your CFO failing to deliver?

CFO Research’s latest research report on the effectiveness of CFOs, in collaboration with Kyriba, found that CFOs aren’t always delivering the information and decision support that boards want as they seek to manage corporate risks. 

Help wanted

The survey - of 167 U.S. senior finance executives - identified the areas that boards want help from their CFO:

Source & Copyright©2017 - CFO Research

Where failing to deliver 

Sadly the CFO Research also identified six key areas, led by fraud monitoring and mitigation, where CFOs need to communicate more effectively, and act more decisively, in helping boards protect shareholder value:

Source & Copyright©2017 - CFO Research


After decades of investing in finance, treasury, and risk management systems, why are some CFOs still not able to meet their board’s expectations for information and insights? The most commonly cited factor is a suboptimal organizational structure in which different corporation functions and business units are walled off from each other in their own silos, a hindrance cited by one in every two survey respondents. Other major contributors include:

  • a corporate culture that does not promote or facilitate a better relationship between the CFO and the board (41%)
  • a lack of time on the CFO’s part (30%)
  • straightforward communications issues (29%)
  • the composition of the board itself (27%).

Role of technology and better practices

Not surprisingly, 94% of the survey respondents say their CFO is seeking better ways, and better technologies, to meet demands from the boardroom and the CEO. Areas where better technology is needed to make better decisions are, in order of respondent popularity, fraud risk, compliance risk, performance risk, and regulatory risk.

As well as acquiring better technology, the respondents also suggested various ways to make the technology more effective and useful to their boards.

The way forward

The report suggests there is clear way forward for CFOs who want to do better:

  • “CFOs must work to break down functional and operational silos that impede the sharing of information across the enterprise”
  • “must embrace technological innovations, including fraud detection and monitoring systems, that automate standardized processes and procedures and allow them to spend more time on higher-value, strategic activities”
  • “where personalities appear to be getting in the way of progress, they must spend time getting to know the people who serve on their boards, understanding the pressures they are dealing with, and looking for ways to forge more productive relationships.”

CTMfile take: Report is worth a download here.

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