The new CFO mandate: Prioritize, transform, repeat

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McKinsey&Company

If you wanted to validate the old adage that the only constant in life is change, the results from our newest McKinsey Global Survey suggest you need not look any further than the CFO role. In the two years since our previous survey on the topic, CFOs say the number of functions reporting to them has risen from about four to more than six.

What’s more, the share of CFOs saying they oversee their companies’ digital activities has doubled during that time. And many finance leaders say they are being asked to resolve issues in areas that are relatively new to them while continuing to mind traditional responsibilities, such as risk management, that remain business priorities.

“The most commonly cited activity that reports to the CFO this year is risk management, as it was in 2016. In addition, more than half of respondents say their companies’ CFOs oversee internal-audit processes and corporate strategy. Yet CFOs report that they have spent most of their time—about 60 percent of it, in the past year—on traditional and specialty finance roles, which was also true in the 2016 survey.”

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