Businesses, for CFOs 2024 will be under the sign of growth

Increase between Chief Financial Officer interest in outsourcing in the field financialthanks to advantages cwhich this offers in terms of cost reduction and the possibility of accessing specialized skills. The survey shows that companies with more than $1 billion in revenue outsource on average 26% of their financial functions, versus the average of 19% for organizations under $100 million. This is one of the aspects that emerges from the new survey conducted by the Office of the CFO Solutions of FTI Consultingin collaboration with CFO Dive.The survey involved more than 375 CFOs in Europe, Middle East and Africa (“EMEA”), North America, Asia and Australia to identify their strategic priorities 2024.

Businesses, what will 2024 be like?

Despite an economic context that remains challenging, i CFO they expect growth in the next 12 months with inflation still remaining the main one challenge to face. There is growing optimism among those surveyed about the recovery of the global economy, with nearly three-quarters (74%) of respondents saying they expect a double-digit growth in 2024 and 33% of the sample examined anticipating growth of more than 30%.

“It emerges greater optimism on the part of many CFO rcompared to growth for this year, although inflation still remains the main concern”, declared Claudia Lotti Senior Managing Director and member of the OCFO EMEA Steering Committee of FTI Consulting. “Strategic planning, the cost reduction through improved forecasting, investments in financial technology and above all a focus on skills will be the topics that financial leaders will turn their attention to in 2024. It is a very busy agenda whose key to success will lie in the ability to collect useful information to guide decision making and change management”.

Optimistic CFOs

Increased pressures related to competitiveness – Inflation remains there main concern for 76% of those interviewed, with a peak of 85% among CFOs in the EMEA area, while globally 74% believe that the increase in competitive pressure will represent a considerable risk for their companies, even considering the possibility that competitors may give up part of the margins for keep or gainand market. The current competitive context could also lead companies to favor a logic of short-term profits to the detriment of profitability long term. However, this approach can lead to decisions that, although immediately advantageous, could compromise the future stability of a company, especially if the economic context underwent changes.

84% of respondents agreed on the need to improve the accuracy of methodologies forecasting within their organizations to help prioritize and provide support in the allocation of capital and resources for strategic initiatives. Investments in financial technologies and automation were identified as the key area for improvement from 86% of the interviewees, despite different CFO admit that the lack of budget and skills in these areas represent strong obstacles to growth.

Numbers and trends

In EMEA, the 90% of CFOs interviewees believe that the financial technologies And process automation need improvements. In fact, almost all CFOs (95%) believe that manual and overly complex processes currently have a negative impact on their financial organization. By eliminating or reducing manual processes through innovation, CFOs can achieve significant cost savings, allowing resources to be redeployed into strategic areas such as growth initiatives, research and development.

Demand remains high financial skills in a context in which the availability of talent is decreasing. More than half of those interviewed (51%) believe that the search for qualified resources will represent the most complex challenge of 2024, and well 90% intends to dedicate more time to talent search and retention than it did in 2023. EMEA CFOs list this need among their top priorities, a fact that once again highlights the gap between supply and demand of skills in the region; Globally, 40% of CFOs struggle with a shortage of skilled finance and management professionals difficulty connect to their retention.