2013 closed as one of the best years in recent history for Wall Street, and CFOs throughout the country felt the effects. As 2014 opens, chief financial officers find themselves expected to focus on technology and human resources as well as on internal controls. The emerging CFO trends for 2014 demonstrate precisely how diverse the role of the CFO has become.
Three trends to watch this year include:
1. Big Data Management
Advancing technology generates an ever-increasing amount of data, which must be stored, managed, and protected. The process of managing this information, known as “big data management,” has become an increasing challenge for CFOs and their staff.
According to an IMA/ACCA report, 62 percent of CFOs expect big data to influence their work in 2014, while 72 percent agreed that big data management tools will be necessary to support data modeling and analysis. Of the CFOs surveyed, 77 percent stated they need to improve their knowledge of big data management and its tools in order to perform their jobs most effectively.
2. Updating Internal Controls
According to the Wall Street Journal, COSO – the internal controls framework favored by most Boston-area financial organizations – will be outdated as of December 2014. Many CFOs will be pushing their organizations to move to an updated framework before this December deadline, particularly since auditing has become tougher in recent years.
In the new framework, financial reporting objectives expand to include both internal and external financial reporting. Many CFOs have already begun to brief their compliance teams on the new standards and to raise awareness with other members of the organization, particularly board members, senior management, and process and control owners.
3. Facing the “Skills Gap”
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the financial field will add significant numbers of accountants and auditors in the next several years. Yet, as many CFOs have already realized, the pool of qualified people available to fill accounting and auditing positions is already shrinking.
While long-term solutions to the problem may involve changing university curricula and tightening certification standards, many CFOs are addressing skills gaps in their own organizations by working with a staffing firm that specializes in placing financial professionals.
The experienced recruiters at Daley and Associates work with financial organizations throughout the greater Boston area and the Northeast, helping them find the financial talent they need. If you are looking for executive search firms in Boston, contact our team today.