Cash flow and working capital are priorities for CFOs in 2014

Finance leaders recognise that strategic planning, forecasting and transparency can mitigate the effects of economic volatility

Cash flow and working capital capabilities will be an important priority for CFOs and financial executives globally in 2015, new research suggests.

According to the annual Finance Priorities Survey, by international consulting firm Protiviti and the Financial Executives Research Foundation, finance executives are continuing to place emphasis on close financial management.

This is because they recognise that strategic planning, forecasting, risk management, business intelligence and better transparency around business performance can help to mitigate the effects of economic volatility.

In addition to getting back to the finance basics in 2015, finance executives have also shifted their priorities towards attracting and retaining talent. They are looking for talent with strong ‘people’ skills, as well as the technical knowledge and analytical expertise necessary to manage an evolving set of changes in the areas of regulation, domestic tax law, accounting standards and financial data analysis.

Peter Firestone, an MD with Protiviti’s business performance improvement practice, said: “CFOs and finance executives continue to worry about which core finance business processes will be required in-house versus those that can be performed better and more cost-effectively by others, as well as how finance organisations should be optimised and their talent aligned to support new service strategies.”

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