Analyst firm Gartner has shared the top five finance trends and priorities for chief financial officers in 2024.
The firm’s 2024 Finance Executive Priorities Survey asked 185 chief financial officers to rank their top priorities and related key tasks. Leading transformation efforts was the top response, followed by evaluating or improving the finance function’s strategy and design, and enhancing finance metrics, insights and storytelling.
The survey also identified the largest change in chief financial officer priorities. The importance of board communication and engagement was the third highest priority in 2023 but dropped to twelfth in 2024.
Gartner also gained input from 232 finance leaders including controllers, heads of finance planning and analysis, and finance transformation leaders. The discussion found that controllers are increasingly focused on using technology to automate processes as a strategy to improve speed, efficiency and accuracy. Furthermore, heads of finance planning and analysis are prioritising improving personal effectiveness in order to be more critical to success.
The research also identified some of the biggest barriers facing chief financial officers when focusing on these priorities. The first is capacity, as they have fewer staff dedicated to technology work and burnout among finance employees is becoming a growing concern.
Another barrier is change fatigue, with organisations seeing a 50 per cent decline in employees’ ability to absorb changes before becoming fatigued. This becomes an issue due to the constantly evolving nature of the financial landscape.
To help chief financial officers achieve their goals in 2024, Gartner suggests identifying use cases for artificial intelligence within the context of their own organisations, partner with their chief information officers to improve visibility into digital spending, and work with the chief human resources officer to reduce talent attrition and take proactive measures to engage and retain top talent.
Read the full study on the Gartner website.