Skip to main content

2024 CFO Insights: Build agility and cement growth for the future with digital data-focused tools

from  January 31, 2024 | 5 min read

2024 presents a cautious but slightly more optimistic outlook from the office of the CFO than in recent years. CFOs who embrace digital transformation can pave the way to sustainable growth and agile operations for their organization.

Inflation has been steadily decreasing in Europe, and even more in the US, while GDP is rising, leading to a more stable environment than pre-pandemic levels.

This said, there are still some significant geo-political factors creating turbulent market conditions, creating a greater responsibility of the office of the CFO, to be more strategic, proactive, and focused on building agility and resilience for future years. 

Those who have clear visibility of reliable organizational data will be able to make better data-led decisions today, while also being able to innovate and strategize, building resilience and agility for tomorrow.

In this blog, we will explore issues the office of the CFO may encounter in 2024, and how digital transformation can provide the data insight leaders need to cement growth and build agility.

Anticipate disruption with strategic solutions

Recent years have been marred by disruption to supply chains because of multiple external factors. Rather than being reactive, CFOs should instead proactively innovate and invest so that potential future disruption can be more easily managed – Cloud tools can integrate Procurement and Financial data for better insights

As organizations adapt to new ways of operating, they are finding ways to work around supply chain disruptions and improve efficiencies through cost optimization. CFOs should focus on gaining control and visibility across their departmental data, but also the integration of this data with other functions, particularly that of procurement and HR.

Strategizing is the solution, but CFOs need to enable this kind of thinking by working with HR to liberate current talent to focus on forecasting, utilize digital tools that can project data forward, and focus on building agile operations.

A data solution that can focus on today’s problems, as well as scenario planning, forecasting, and innovation, is key for CFOs to fulfill their modern role as strategic advisors.

AI could increase in use and solve talent shortages

Namely, one digital solution that can enable strategic thinking within the office of the CFO is Artificial Intelligence (AI).

While many fear AI is taking jobs, it can liberate financial professionals from lower-value tasks, and free up their time for more meaningful strategic tasks such as forecasting, and projecting data forward.

AI is particularly useful within the office of the CFO where there is a global talent shortage of qualified accountants. By integrating data in the Cloud, a CFO can share their workforce insights with HR and ensure that current talent is retained with appropriate and competitive compensation packages.

Moreover, AI can empower strategic thinking with its digital innovation – advanced reporting capabilities, data visualization techniques, and low/no-code extensibility, are all invaluable tools to improve collaboration, cross-functional response, and proactive thinking.

According to a survey by EY, 85% of CFOs believe that AI will significantly change the way finance works in the next five years. However, only 25% of CFOs say they have a clear vision and roadmap for AI adoption.


7 core skills today’s modern CFO needs

Learn the 7 core skills today’s modern CFO needs

Learn how influential CFOs are responding to current key challenges

Tell me more


Optimize collaboration with integrated data for cross-functional response

Enabling strategic thinking in the office of the CFO is useful, but a cross-functional response to strategy will be the most effective. 

By integrating data across organizational functions, they can work more succinctly with the office of the CFO. HR can use data to empower managers across functions to build long-lasting relationships and engagement, align functions under the same mission, and identify and address imbalances across an enterprise.

A succinct response to ESG and sustainability reporting will be key

A large area of focus for 2024 is stricter compliance across environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting, as well as sustainability reporting and compliance. In fulfilling this requirement, we can see the value of a cross-functional response led by data.

Dresner recently reported that more than 50% of organizations, of varying sizes, are likely unprepared for coming reporting regulations, with 75% of respondents stating they don’t even know what standards are in use or likely to be used.

Integrated data in the Cloud is vital to respond to increasing ESG, and sustainability, reporting requirements, and those using legacy systems will particularly struggle to generate timely reports across siloed data.

CFOs need to establish clear definitions, standards, and processes for ESG data collection, verification, and disclosure, as well as align ESG goals with business strategy and incentives, using capabilities such as FP&A software

How Unit4 can help CFOs plan for the future

The main takeaways for the office of the CFO in 2024 are the requirement to be strategic, not just supportive, and that this will rely on the tools an organization uses to manage data and strategize. 

With constantly changing market conditions, and 2024 being a political election year for around half of the world’s population, the importance of data management and analytics can help to improve efficiency and accuracy of organizations by being more data driven in decision-making. 

CFOs need a 360 view across their organizations. Integrating software solutions such as ERPHCM, and  FP&A helps achieve the goal of strategically planning for the future. Our Cloud-based software is designed to provide businesses with the tools they need to optimize financial performance and drive growth.

Unit4 FP&A helps you to forecast and predict future outcomes accurately. Our Cloud-based software is designed to provide businesses with the tools they need to optimize financial performance and drive growth. Integrating the data in our Cloud through SaaS solutions such as ERPHCM, and FP&A provides data tools for better agility.

Sign up to see more like this