CFOs are likely to have a greater role in business plans and development for 2014, thanks in part to an increase in their overall influence in recent years. Research from American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) and CFO Research showed that 65 percent of finance executives from around the world say CFOs have become more influential as a result of the economic downturn. This is especially true in the U.S., where 85 percent of CFOs report seeing an increase in influence, according to the sixth annual American Express/CFO Research Global Business and Spending Monitor.
[Infographic: The Changing World of CFOs ]
CFO Role Has Definitively Changed
CFOs’ roles are growing along with their influence. CFOs recognize that to be effective today, they must look for new ways to apply their financial expertise – in fact, only 13 percent of respondents say that role of the CFO has remained the same since the economic downturn. According to survey respondents, finance executives are looking beyond the traditional tasks and taking on the following business management roles:
- 29 percent became strategists, analyzing and interpreting financial data to guide decision-making;
- 29 percent became catalysts, spurring necessary changes across the entire organization;
- 24 percent became stewards, overseeing organizational assets and directing risk-management efforts.