Jul 10, 2024
1 mins

New CFO agenda report: Unlocking growth without compromise

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Quick summary

Today, Payhawk launched a new report revealing that 61% of international CFOs say their businesses are making or considering making customer experience compromises to remain operational amid the current challenging economic climate.

This article first appeared as a Press release.

The news

  • New research by Payhawk reveals how technology, spend controls and data analysis are helping CFOs navigate economic uncertainty and competitive pressures
  • 58% of business leaders agree that managing financial risks effectively while pursuing opportunities for growth is the biggest challenge for CFOs
  • 51% of international finance leaders say they're navigating this tougher economic climate with a reduction in their number of products or services

Payhawk, the global spend management solution that helps businesses manage company cards and payments at scale across 32 countries, today revealed that 61% of international CFOs say their businesses are making or considering making customer experience compromises to remain operational amid the current challenging economic climate.

The report “The CFO agenda: Unlocking growth without compromise” examines the specific challenges and demands CFOs face during this period of political and economic uncertainty. The report also explores the most impactful solutions CFOs are leveraging to remain agile and competitive while avoiding customer experience and service quality compromises.

Uncover top CFO insights on driving growth without compromise

The findings highlight the importance of accurate data analytics and innovative technology to support the implementation of rigorous cost control measures that ensure long-term financial stability without compromising on the customer experience. By gaining insights into the company’s wider spend habits, recurring costs and financial operations, businesses can optimise their budgets, shore up robust spend cultures, and avoid making potentially loyalty-damaging changes.

Key findings from the report include:

  • 61% of European CFOs say they have had to make or are considering making compromises to the customer experience to survive in the current economic environment.
  • 48% of respondents say they have had to cut back on their products to cope with the tougher economic environment.
  • 33% of all business leaders (C-Suite) agree that they will either have to compromise on service consistency or customization options.

Visibility and control are key challenges to maintaining sustainable growth

  • 58% of business leaders agree that managing financial risks effectively while pursuing opportunities for growth is the biggest challenge for CFOs
  • However, overcoming these challenges is proving difficult as 63% of all CFOs and 70% of CIOs deemed centralising control and visibility as “extremely challenging.”
  • This is compounded by 96% respondents saying that gaining visibility of the rest of the business to understand how other departments operate was a ‘an extremely or very significant’ challenge

How priorities are shifting for CFOs in search of agility

  • Today, CFOs are reevaluating their priorities and expectations to encompass a wide range of trends and considerations. 38% of all respondents now cite wider business scenario planning as their highest priority, with the aim to develop a strategic response to navigate economic difficulty.
  • In addition, only 50% CFOs said their finance function is agile enough to weather the current economic climate.
  • Interestingly, one in five CIOs surveyed across all regions believe that CFOs remain undervalued in their business, suggesting that despite their growing responsibility, the depth of their involvement continues to be overlooked in some quarters.

As they take on an increasingly strategic position in company governance, CFOs must adopt new financial strategies to help businesses avoid compromising heavily on customer experience, product quality, or level of service. To achieve this, CFOs should leverage spend data analytics to highlight missed cost-efficiency opportunities, implement rigorous cost-control measures to make stronger cost-saving decisions and improve data accuracy for strategic planning.

Konstantin Dzhengozov, co-founder and CFO at Payhawk, explained. "There are a number of macroeconomic factors influencing the shift we’re seeing in the finance function and the role of CFOs. However, successful transformation is not always easy. According to our research, economic uncertainty and a focus on profitability are leading CFOs to consider compromising on customer solutions to overcome today’s financial pressures."

Konstantin continued:

To meet the profitability challenge without compromising on the customer experience requires leveraging the power of technology such as AI and spend management tools that can eliminate unnecessary expenses and utilise resources in a more efficient way. To implement these solutions it is paramount for business leaders to have confidence in the benefits of new technologies and embrace change. Naturally, significant transformation projects have an impact on different departments and teams, so it’s fundamental to provide them with the right solutions for their specific needs.

The research was based on a survey of over 200 decision-makers across a number of industries throughout the Europe, UK, and the US. To learn more, you can download the report here.

This article has been brought to you by our spend management editorial team.
Payhawk Editorial Team

The Payhawk Editorial Team consists seasoned finance professionals boasting years of experience in spend management, digital transformation, and the finance profession. We're dedicated to delivering insightful content to empower your financial journey.

See all articles by Payhawk →

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