The Most Pressing Data Use Challenges for CFOs

AAFCPAs’ 2021 CFO Survey disclosed results on the most pressing challenges CFOs face in connection to data use.

We asked CFOs:

What is your primary business or opportunity cost for not leveraging data?

Respondents reported the lack of visibility / less informed decision-making due to not leveraging data as being the most challenging for their businesses.

Lost efficiency/productivity as well as missed competitive advantage/revenue are mentioned as some of the most critical issues as well.

What factor(s) negatively affect your ability to capture the necessary data to make meaningful decisions?

With the pandemic rewriting the rules, CFOs noted personnel, system, and process limitations in capturing data.

People and systems once again topped the list of the biggest challenges in turning data insights into actionable business value. Specifically, challenges included lack of the right tools/technology, data residing in multiple systems, lack of skilled talent in-house or training, and no clear ownership..

AAFCPAs’ Viewpoint

AAFCPAs’ CFO Survey found a significant rise (up 16%) in the lack of availability of human talent as a challenge in meeting the expectations of CEOs. This correlates to the challenges around systems and personnel, showing a clear trend: CFOs embrace their goals and the use of data as key support. But they are missing the talent and technology to bring the two together.

Without a resolution, this trend could grow into a significant roadblock. It could result in CFOs having less visibility and insight, being held back from developing a full picture, not being able to present the most compelling points to the CEO, budget constraints due to uncertainty, and the CEO’s inability to invest in the talent they need to provide a more accurate outlook. The cycle repeats, potentially holding back the entire company.

Read more Insights from CFOs on Data Use.>>