The survey, by recruitment firm Robert Half, reveals that for 54% of CFOs, talent management tops the agenda, and, according to the firm, this year may very well be a fruitful year for finance professionals.
David Jones, senior managing director at Robert Half Asia Pacific, says the focus on staff acquisition, retention and development bodes well for today’s job-seekers and employees “eager to embrace professional development opportunities”.
“A company’s success is most dependent on the performance of its staff, which emphasises the importance of talent management for any business. This means not just recruiting professionals with the right skills, but also further developing the skillsets of existing staff and retaining top performers.”
And, the recruitment firm says the increased focus on implementing new technologies highlights the progressively important role technology is playing in the finance function of Australian businesses.
“As companies endeavour to explore new ways to streamline business practices, updating internal financial policies and procedures comes in second on the list of priorities for 2017 for 49% of CFOs, and it will be just as relevant in 2020 (48%),” the report notes.
Jones says that, in order to remain competitive in an uncertain market, finance companies will need to adapt quickly to change and “streamline their internal procedures to maximise on their potential, whilst still focusing on turning a profit and expanding their market share”.
“In order to achieve this, businesses will need to foster their high-achieving staff members, as well as recruit top financial talent,” Jones says.
Australian CFOs were asked: “What are your key focus areas in 2017 and 2020?” Their responses:
|Talent management (staff acquisition, professional development, staff retention)||54%||41%|
|Updating internal financial policies and procedures||49%||48%|
|Driving overall company growth||39%||45%|
|Implementing new technologies||38%||54%|
|Adding new skillsets to better perform the finance function||29%||27%|
|Addressing macroeconomic impacts on the business||19%||18%|
|Addressing areas of internal risk within the organisation||8%||4%|
|Addressing areas of external risk within the organisation||8%||14%|
|Adhering to audit standards||1%||1%|
|Adhering to reporting or compliance standards||1%||3%|
Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 160 Australian CFOs – three answers per respondent.