The CFO Dive Outlook on 2021

Note from the editor

There’s a lot to be excited about in 2021, including the possibility of the pandemic finally getting under control. Whether or not this takes place, CFOs will have their hands full. 

In Washington, the Biden administration is already shaking things up. It is preparing a proposal to raise the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21% and create a new 15% tax on book income. 

As an incentive for companies to build and host services in the United States, it is preparing a number of carrots — and sticks — using the tax code and other authorities that you, as a finance leader, won’t be able to ignore.

On the regulatory side, stepped-up enforcement of antitrust, national security and other laws could have an impact on how you do business and — and with whom.

And the Securities and Exchange Commission is rolling out new tools to help it catch financial reporting errors. Look for it to expand the use of its EPS Initiative — an AI-assisted big data tool to spot inconsistencies in public filings — into a number of reporting areas. It could start mandating that you measure your environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance, too. 

There could also be increasing scrutiny on the ways companies go public now. Look for direct floor listings and increasingly popular special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) to come under the spotlight.

This is just a sampling of the changes you can expect to see this year. To help you get a handle on these and other 2021 trends, CFO Dive has brought together our coverage of the stories that will shape this year. 

Robert Freedman Editor

5 CFO trends to watch in 2021

Greater attention to ESG metrics, real-time data and the wind-down of LIBOR are among the trends you’ll see this year.

• Published Jan. 11, 2021

4 ways CFOs can cut waste in spending on the cloud

The typical company wastes as much as 35% of its cloud budget, estimates show. Wasteful spending rose as many companies rushed to move operations into the cloud during the pandemic.

• Published Jan. 18, 2021

2021 Outlook: Why, and how, the CFO should lead ESG efforts

This year, CFOs should prepare their companies for increased scrutiny on environmental, social and governance performance, if they haven't already.

• Published Jan. 12, 2021

The CFO Dive Outlook on 2021

New ways to go public, new ways to measure success — here’s what to expect as you, as a finance leader, help lead your organization through the months ahead.

included in this trendline
  • Key trends CFOs should watch in 2021
  • 4 ways CFOs can cut waste in spending on the cloud
  • Why and how CFOs should lead ESG efforts
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Produced by our team of award-winning journalists, these Outlooks can help businesses navigate the uncertain road ahead in 2021.
Davide Savenije Editor-in-Chief at Industry Dive.