Strategy Trintech

Planning For 2022: Three Things Every CFO Should Prioritize Now

Sponsored by Trintech

As we head into Q2 of 2022, CFOs should focus on the three key areas that will allow their organizations to succeed in this post-pandemic limbo.

©pishit/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Over the past 3 years, business leaders have honed their ability to adapt quickly to consistently shifting circumstances. While the pandemic itself has stabilized, the long-term impacts present ongoing challenges for many businesses. We now know there will not be a return to a number of pre-pandemic norms -- and one of those likely lasting changes is a virtual or hybrid work environment.

As we head into Q2 of 2022, CFOs should focus on the three key areas that will allow their organizations to succeed in this post-pandemic limbo.

Top Talent Is Hard to Come By - And Harder to Keep!

CFOs should expect the ongoing “Great Resignation” to continue picking up steam in the coming months. The reality is there has been an exodus of segments of the workforce, resulting in staffing shortages that are starting to have an effect on companies’ culture and their bottom lines. In PwC’s January 2022 Pulse Survey, the vast majority of CFOs polled said they were focused on hiring and retaining talent (83%) and most are reevaluating pricing strategies (59%) more so than any other executive - including CHROs and CPOs. The current unemployment rate has also dropped below 4%, indicating the country is nearly reaching “full employment,” which means talent shortages are not likely to be easing any time soon.

CFOs need to act fast to support finding the right talent, effectively onboarding new employees and proactively investing in retaining employees in order for their organizations to thrive in a hybrid work environment. One tactic that can help support each of these goals is the use of employee listening surveys. Asking your team about their experience not only supports a culture of open communication, but it also provides you with access to real feedback. This feedback in turn helps leadership teams identify what elements of an organization’s culture employees derive the greatest value from and where culture deficits may be developing and need attention. When you have clarity on what’s going well and what might need some work, you can invest resources to support the former and bolster the latter.

Continued C-Suite Collaboration

In a post-pandemic workplace, a strong CFO-CIO relationship is and will continue to be key to facilitating organizational growth. The past couple of years has seen the emergence of the “Strategic CFO”. Open and frequent communication focused on strategic problem-solving was an essential component of many organizations’ navigation of the pandemic and it remains a vital part of planning for post-pandemic success.

As the agents of efficiency and agility, CFOs and CIOs, in partnership with CEOs and the rest of the senior team, bring the most impact to their organizations when aligned and sharing a leadership vision. From improving finance processes to driving employee engagement, a strong relationship between the CFO and the CIO generates value within an organization, enabling operational pain points to be effectively resolved, and value-added processes, platforms and frameworks to be implemented.

When leaders communicate effectively with each other, the broader team receives more of what it needs to work well. That helps foster a corporate culture that supports employees in the ways that are of the highest value to them — sustaining a culture they want to be a part of and that they want to stay a part of.

Investing in Digital Transformation Strategies

CFOs’ ability to both manage new talent and collaborate with the C-suite strategically will hinge on how quickly they can fast-track digital transformation within their organizations. At the beginning of 2022, 48% of CFOs surveyed by PwC said their companies planned to invest in digital transformation this year, while another 37% were prioritizing automation. The primary drivers? CFOs remain eager to invest in digital transformation as a strategy to “improve cost structure” but also to “reinvigorate the workforce.”

At Trintech, we believe that technology and digital advancements should serve as the foundation for value-additive work. When you remove repetitive and manual tasks from an employee’s plate, you enable that employee to engage in higher value work. For example, with my team, we’ve upgraded our monthly close process. That means that instead of spending time entering data, my team is working with me to analyze the data and draw conclusions that inform our overarching business strategy. We have found that more meaningful work directly and positively impacts our organization’s bottom line, while also generating a higher level of satisfaction for the team.

In Q1 of 2022, CFOs came out of the gates eager to find innovative ways to facilitate, and sustain, growth in a hybrid work environment. The next couple months will be the litmus test of that commitment, a critical time in terms of executing resilient, long-term strategies to retain and recruiting talent, leading with a unified and cohesive C-Suite vision, and empowering the office of finance with bold and effective digital solutions. For more information on this topic, download Trintech’s eBook, “Insights on COVID-19’s Impact on Finance Operations.”