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CFOs must prioritise or face overload, says ACCA

Finance chiefs must make tough decisions to focus on the paramount issues for them and their business

16 Nov 2012 Accountancy Age

By Kevin Reed

THE SHEER BREADTH of the CFO role means that prioritising has become the key to top performance, according to ACCA.

Economic uncertainty coupled with shifting energy prices and currency markets are among the main challenges that a CFO will have to face, according to ACCA/IMA Changing Role of the CFO study.

As businesses expect more of their CFO, the finance function will come under greater pressure. But high-quality performance is a great boost to the CFO's career, and such reliance on the function allows them to exert influence over the business' direction.

"Apart from the sheer breadth of the role now, it really is a question of having enough time in the day to prioritise and deal with all the issues that need dealing with," said Jamie Lyon, head of corporate sector at ACCA.

"Businesses are really asking a lot from their top finance leaders right now and we don't see this getting any easier, particularly with the level of volatility and business uncertainty. It places the finance function and finance leaders under great pressure and scrutiny, but it also continues to provide great opportunities for finance to influence the organization. The CFO role of the future will be truly unique, requiring a really special blend of capabilities and skills."

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