Horváth Human Resources Barometer: Digital transformation putting pressure on CFOs

The Horváth CFO study 2018 shows that the digital transformation is right at the top of the agenda for Chief Financial Officers (CFOs). This has implications for the companies’ finance departments and requires additional skills in dealing with data and systems. The Horváth resources barometer recorded an increase of seven per cent in roles advertised in the financial sector explicitly requiring IT skills between January and September 2018.

For 77 per cent of CFOs, the upheaval caused by the digital transition is the biggest issue within the company. Coming in at second place with 64 per cent is the realignment of finance departments with new, overwhelmingly digitally-driven business models. This change is being prompted by new developments in fundamental technologies such as in-memory and in advanced analytics, according to the Horváth CFO study 2018.

More than half of finance directors now have to deal with incorrect or incomplete data (53 per cent). This proportion has risen by 19 per cent compared to the previous year. The main cause of this is the use of different systems and the manual consolidation of different data sources. However, data that is structured, standardised across the company and, above all, valid is a basic prerequisite for further analyses. According to Dr Mario Stephan of Horváth & Partners, the number of finance directors who make decisions based on insufficient data is high. This finding leads to an increasing demand for finance professionals with in-depth data handling and systems skills, such as are also required for data security, cybersecurity, business intelligence and advanced analytics. This is the driving factor behind the increase in roles advertised in the finance sector explicitly requiring IT skills (YtD +7%).

‘CFOs should not lose sight of their traditional remits in the midst of the digital transformation, however. It is becoming increasingly necessary to make the best possible use of the opportunities afforded by digitisation in order to achieve their actual efficiency goals. This is done by CFOs driving forward issues such as automation, standardisation and systems integration. Most companies will have to develop their CFO set-up using optimised processes and reinforce it with new skills and expertise over the next few years,’ says Horváth expert Dr Mario Stephan. 

About the study: 

For the ‘CFO study 2018 :Recognising the opportunities of digitisation and mastering the digital transformation of finance departments’, Horváth & Partners surveyed companies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A total of 200 CFOs and other finance executives provided insight into their agendas for the first quarter of 2018.

Horváth Human Resources Barometer

The Horváth Human Resources Barometer measures the number of vacancies advertised (full and part-time) on Swiss company websites. Every month, it records more than 2,500 advertised positions in Switzerland in the selected functional areas of organization, purchasing, finance and controlling via web spider technology. The data provides information on the key areas in which Swiss companies, of all sizes, require personnel. This identifies their key resourcing issues thematic priorities.