Challenging Times for CFOs


Sujith Vasudevan, Managing EditorThe world is almost at the end of the Covid-19 Tunnel, and things are nearly back to normal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean going back to the old ways of doing business. The stakes have become much higher for C-suite executives to find common ground to collaborate and contribute directly to the company’s growth. But this won’t be an easy path ahead, given the unprecedented nature of the situation at hand.

The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) segment is a silent strength of almost all economies worldwide. But more often than not, MSMEs are underserved and unserved across parameters, including financial and technical assistance, especially considering the sector’s significant contribution toward GDP.

The case is no different in Malaysia. Even though the pandemic is almost over, the Russia-Ukraine conflict prevails, and the SMEs struggle to keep their neck above water. The Malaysian government, however, recognizes this crater and the future implications such a scenario could trigger.

However, like almost all other C-suite leaders, CFOs face herculean challenges. They are against unprecedented skill shortages, labor supply, and supply chain challenges. It’s no secret that financial leaders are in dire need of team members who are not only skilled in accounting, auditing, and compliance but also understand data visualization, are flexible thinkers, possess good communication skills, and, most importantly, have a lot of business sense. According to a recent Ernst & Young report, 22 percent of CFOs prioritize transforming how finance talent is recruited, retained, and developed. This issue of CEO Insights Asia is dedicated to the exemplary, forward-thinking CFOs in Malaysia who navigate these challenges successfully. Do let us know your thoughts.

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