What Does New Normal Mean for CFOs?


Sujith Vasudevan, Managing EditorIn the aftermath of the roller coaster ride of the past couple of pandemic-ridden years, organizations worldwide are striving hard to return to more sustainable and predictable operating conditions. 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.

Like almost all other C-suite leaders, Chief Financial Officers are amidst herculean challenges. CFOs 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.

Beyond the typical challenges of controlling job costs and financial planning, CFOs now up against the pressure to leverage disconnected, disorderly data and embrace technology and digital transformation. The aforementioned EY report also says that 23 percent of CFOs plan to prioritize improving big data and analytics capabilities to transform forecasting, risk management, and understanding value drivers. However, having the right team with the right skill sets could be the first, most crucial step towards tackling these challenges. This special issue of CEO Insights Asia recognizes some of the shining CFOs in Malaysia who lead this transformation by example.

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