Metrics and management reporting are the 2020 priorities of large and mid-sized company CFOs, Gartner Finance revealed in its survey, "2020 Top Priorities for Finance."
Among CFOs of companies with an annual revenue of $1 billion or more, the top five priorities were to invest in analytics, organizational strategy and structure, fintech optimization, growth investments and cost structure. 76% of large-sized company CFOs prioritized lagging ROI from technology investments due to long implementation and slow adoption.
Of those surveyed, 77% said a lack of interest in correcting cost structure is their top challenge, yet only 18% were confident enough to solve it. This survey comes just a few weeks after Gartner released its research that found less than 1 in 4 CFOs are personally effective.
The majority of respondents agreed on the primary causes of company-wide insufficiencies. These include out-of-date technology that is ill-equipped to meet future needs, and inefficient long-range financial planning processes.
Most of these perceived shortcomings fall beyond the scope of the typical CFO’s responsibilities, and veer into operations, IT and management. CFOs surveyed expressed a “lack of confidence in addressing challenges around cost structure,” like salary growth outpacing worker productivity.
This assessment is in line with Gartner’s personal effectiveness study from early December, which found that the strongest CFOs are the ones who rely on a network of relationships with other department heads outside of finance. In that study, Peter Nagy, vice president of finance research at Gartner said the “most important relationships that drive high performance in the CFO role are in the boardroom and with customers, not in the finance department."
Approaching 2020, the synthesis of these two Gartner studies suggest CFOs and finance heads collaborate with the CIO, CHRO and COO in order to address company-wide shortcomings and ensure that changing business needs are continually met.
Gartner representatives did not respond to requests for comment at the time of publication.