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Insights from the 2023 CFO Survey

Understanding the current economic landscape through the eyes of top finance leaders

Finance ties every area of business together. Spaulding Ridge’s 2023 CFO survey reveals what finance leaders are seeing in the market, how it’s affecting their businesses, and how they’re adapting to these challenges. From enhancing cash flows to adopting AI, read more to learn how finance leaders are preparing to take control in 2024.

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Spaulding Ridge’s 2023 CFO Survey explores the thought-process of financial leaders and what specific tactics they believe will lead to success. Our survey pulled in leaders from diverse industries at commercial to enterprise scale, including:

  • High Tech
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • NGOs

The result: Actionable and detailed insights financial leaders can use to set their strategy for the year to come.

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CFO Survey

Key Takeaways from Survey: The Six Themes

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Brief Overview of CFO Survey Results & SR Insights

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What is your level of confidence for hitting financial targets for this year?

CFOs are confident in their performance—but not overly confident. This moderate level of confidence reflects cautious optimism about their performance, their teams, and the economy.

Choose the top three most urgent financial challenges facing your organization.

72% of CFOs emphasize that the retention of talent/managing headcount is a major challenge entering 2024. It’s clear that financial leaders want to prioritize their workforce and the specific tools to help them succeed.

What are your plans for investment/reduction for the following areas?

Despite emphasis on cost-reductions, many CFOs are continuing to make investments where they matter. With more than 40% of respondents planning to invest in technology, it’s evident that leaders see tech as essential to hitting their goals.

Are you employing data scientists within your finance organization?

A whopping 68% of respondents told us they don’t employ data scientists within their finance department. If CFOs are going to benefit from their data, they’ll need the right professionals on their team to give them the capabilities they need.

How do you prioritize your investments in technology and innovation? Rank highest to lowest.

Business process improvements are a clear priority for finance teams, and given their emphasis on productivity, it’s no surprise. CFOs in this boat should invest in automation to make sure everyday tasks and common processes aren’t bogging them down.

On a scale of one to five, how would you rate the accuracy of your forecasts?

This average is respectable, but there’s room to improve. Finance leaders have several ways to increase forecast accuracy that they should consider. Speaking of which…

Are you using any kind of AI to inform your forecasts?

AI will shape 2024 in ways we can’t predict—but AI-powered forecasting models are clearly underutilized, and they’re poised to make a big impact for CFOs that adopt them.

How would you describe your financial reporting environment?

About 62% of finance leaders are currently utilizing multiple systems to track their financial performance. With many different data sources, leaders are facing challenges acquiring accurate and actionable data.

If you could improve one of these metrics, which one would be the most important?

Respondents were split on this question. It’s likely that cash flows are driving this, and that expensive debt is keeping companies focused on their bottom line.

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This is just a sample of the insights contained in our report. Download our insights at the link below! You can also check additional assets from our finance experts.

Still have questions?

Reach out to Spaulding Ridge for more insights!