Billtrust-Commissioned Research Also Examines Differences Between Current CFOs and Future Finance Leaders
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LAWRENCEVILLE, NJ – June 23, 2022 – Billtrust (NASDAQ: BTRS), a B2B accounts receivable automation and integrated payments leader, has released new findings from a proprietary in-depth research study, commissioned by Billtrust and conducted by Paradoxes, Inc., defining the profile of CFO candidates who will ultimately step into leadership roles.
The research, which consists of interviews and sessions with over 500 current CFOs and those targeting CFO positions in their next roles, illustrates how the “traditional” CFO model is giving way to a new leader who is more comfortable with data, technology and cross-disciplinary collaboration in areas that have typically been considered out of the purview of finance, such as customer satisfaction.
“We find that the cohort of nearly 7.9 million CFO aspirants have a horizontal mindset and see data and technology as the key to innovation,” said Steve Reynolds, who led the research effort at Paradoxes, Inc. “Their instincts are to seek consensus and work in greater collaboration with other business units.”
Future CFOs will require a deeper understanding of data: To be successful, 89% of respondents agree that future finance leaders will need to understand how data moves and is used across the firm, and 82% expect that a background should include some knowledge of data science and technology.
Rising CFOs are less confident that their organization’s infrastructure is modern: Only 33% of future CFOs, compared to 46% of current CFOs, report that their infrastructure is “very” modernized, meaning the majority of processes and systems are automated, integrated and digital.
CFOs become increasingly important CX Players: When asked to identify the initiatives and weaknesses in their current financial and operational systems they are planning to address, nearly half (47%) of future CFOs chose “customer satisfaction,” trailing only behind “financial reporting/forecasting.”
Aspiring CFOs are more fluent and literate in technology: 61% of future CFOs cite “digitizing invoices” as an example of progress toward modernized digital infrastructure, vs. just 38% of current CFOs. 70% of next generation CFOs believe that data and analytics are paramount to the future CFO role adding value to the enterprise, and define “digital success” via technology projects that extend or integrate infrastructure with customers, vendors or partners.
“Clearly, a new generation of financial leaders are rethinking the roles that CFOs play in the enterprise,” said Steve Pinado, President, Billtrust. “As these digital-savvy professionals ascend into key leadership roles, they will be faced with challenges that look markedly different from the ones their predecessors faced. Fortunately, our research suggests that their understanding of data, teamwork and a commitment to the customer will position them to rise to the occasion and serve as a critical piece of their organizations’ overall success.”
About the Study
Billtrust commissioned research firm Paradoxes, Inc. to conduct an extensive qualitative and quantitative study between 2021 and 2022 to identify frequent financial challenges and essential characteristics of future CFOs. Interviews and sessions were conducted with over 500 current and aspiring CFOs or those in adjacent roles.