AAFCPAs’ 2021 CFO Survey Finds Data Management Is Catalyst for Change
CFOs seek better inputs, predictability, and the talent to translate data
Boston, MA (August 10, 2021) – AAFCPAs, a best-in-class CPA and consulting firm known for assurance, tax, accounting, wealth management, valuation, business process, and IT advisory solutions, today released its 2021 CFO Survey Report. The survey found that across the board, CFOs are prioritizing better data gathering, interpretation, and visualization in order to improve decision-making after a historically unpredictable year.
Among the survey’s key findings were:
- CFOs believe that a focus on the future is more important today than it was four years ago.
- Collecting predictive and prescriptive analytics is a pain point for CFOs. These types of data enable a shift from a historical perspective to a forward-looking perspective.
- Limitations in staffing and systems topped the list of major challenges in turning insight into actionable business value.
- 49% of respondents (up from 33% in 2017) said that human resources limitations/team bandwidth is the primary obstacle to meeting CEO expectations.
“CFOs told us through this survey that the way they perceive and use data is at a new evolutionary stage,” said James Jumes, Partner and head of Business Process and IT Consulting at AAFCPAs. “The pandemic accelerated the need for different types of forecasting data –but it also accelerated the development of tools that can help interpret it. CFOs have an excellent opportunity to create a competitive advantage by playing a pivotal role in this transformation.”
The AAFCPAs’ 2021 CFO Survey was conducted in collaboration with FEI Boston (Financial Executives International Boston Chapter). The survey captured feedback from more than 200 senior financial executives from the Northeast region of the United States, with 80% of respondents representing middle market companies in New England, from public and private sector commercial business, nonprofit, and government.
The report is available for download at https://www.aafcpa.com/cfo-survey-report-2021