The CFO Agenda will return to London on 1st June. Ahead of this year’s event the team reached out to 150+ CFO’s and FD’s from across Europe to understand the key opportunities for their businesses across the next year.
The CFO team have polled leading CFOs and finance leaders from across the UK and Europe on their priorities, concerns and plans for the future. The responses gathered reveal insights on the changing nature of the finance profession and the CFO role, immediate and long-term risks facing the business, the level of financial uncertainty affecting the business and the biggest opportunities over the coming years.
It is clear from the survey that CFOs are heavily impacted by the macro-environment and face an uncertain future trading in a volatile environment. Digitalisation is becoming increasingly more integrated within the finance function and is slowly being accepted as an opportunity for smart, evidence-based decision-making, but we still have a way to go to convince finance of the ROI on expensive new technologies. The changing nature of the CFO role is an opportunity for driven finance professionals to lead change and transformation within their organisation and prepare robust strategy and finance models for the future. The skills shortage across roles and industries is widening the talent gap and finance has a responsibility to create innovative strategy to prepare for the future of work and a new generation of workers. Change affects us all and with change comes exciting new opportunities for the future. It is not all doom and gloom; growth and internationalisation is still high on the agenda for CFOs and we hope to see a steady rise in the economy as we learn to accept our situation and grow in new markets and geographies.
Opportunities for business in 2017
Launching into New Geographies
With all the uncertainty and doubt surrounding the UK economy, launching in overseas markets can add valuable extra sales (and profits) which in turn can help generate economies of scale on the existing cost base. This appears easier than it is, but customers are always on the lookout for something different and so a clear and unique proposition that is well marketed can help you stand out from the competition.
It’s no surprise that successful companies tend to have highly engaged teams that seem to be able to achieve things other businesses can only dream of. Furthermore, the most engaged teams tend to be aligned with one another making it far easier to continually achieve business goals and objectives which can be an enormous contributor to productivity throughout a business. In this time of competing priorities and deadlines, it’s never as easy as it seems to get everyone engaged so it’s a case of regularly trying new ideas and methods.
Technology and Innovation
Nowadays IT is a fundamental part of almost every business and most businesses have a long list of improvements they would like to make to their IT infrastructure, each of which could improve some part of the business. The challenge for CFOs is to work out which of these improvements is really going to deliver sizeable benefits and give them a competitive edge. Once identified, it’s then a matter of getting it in on time and on budget.
(Paul O’Leary, CFO, Boden)
Technology and Innovation will be a core focus at this year’s CFO Agenda 2017, as we welcome Steve Dixon, VP Future Finance, Unilever to discuss how finance can embrace the digital world and unlock value across the business.
Steve’s session will explore the importance of setting a clearly defined and unified digital strategy and will identify best practice on how technology can strengthen the role of finance and the impact the CFO can have on the organisation.
For more information on the programme, please visit www.TheCFOAgenda.com/programme-2017.
To find out more about the event, please visit www.TheCFOAgenda.com.