RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Accenture research revealed that CFOs across the board are elevating their roles and taking on new responsibilities to differentiate their companies.
  • We found that High Tech CFOs are leading in digital fluency to unlock the value of data and adopt digital tools.
  • We outline how High Tech CFOs can use digital prowess, cross-collaborate and transform their talent to guide business strategy.


High tech CFOs drive strategic change

Our research, CFO Now: Breakthrough speed for breakout value revealed that elite CFOs are stepping up to guide the organization, moving beyond their traditional reporting duties to identify opportunities that drive value. As part of that transformation and in response to escalating responsibilities, CFOs are embracing three distinct roles:

Effectively executed, this evolution equips the industries to rapidly go after new market opportunities and address new sources of disruption.

CFOs who embrace these new roles could double their EBITDA CAGR over a three-year period and increase their revenue CAGR by over 10%.

Our research showed a pair of interesting industry trends specific to high tech CFOs in:

  1. Outperforming their peers in digital transformation: Empowered by the data savviness pervasive in high tech companies, the high tech CFOs are more likely to capitalize on digital investments to streamline their operations and further adopt technology that supports predictive, data-driven decision-making.
  2. Opportunity to improve: High tech CFOs can advance the goals of the organization in two key areas by:
    • Increasing collaboration with their supply chain and operations colleagues to help the company manage risk and drive growth.
    • Focusing on their talent agendas and crafting a strategy to ensure they have the right people and the right structure in place to take full advantage of the capabilities and infrastructure they are building.


Areas where high tech CFOs excel

The unique role of high tech companies as digital innovators and champions keeps the focus on forward-looking technologies. This digital fluency has given high tech CFOs an edge over their peers in two key areas:

Unlocking the real value of data

High tech finance executives are consistently identifying and analyzing new data sets and delivering valuable insights to their C-suite peers.

Adopting digital tools

High tech companies are creating and using AI, ML and cloud technologies. High tech leaders are using digital tools to better partner with the business.

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According to our survey, 74% high tech CFOs are more likely to use AI to create new market insights, 81% are using ML to process financial data and 38% have successfully enhanced operational efficiency through AI and other technologies.

Roadmap to further advancements

While high tech CFOs are operating from a strong base of expertise, our analysis shows that they have additional opportunities to advance the enterprise and the finance organization, while preparing for future challenges and change.

To realize the promise of the moment, high tech finance executives need to focus on tighter collaboration with the operations and supply chain organizations to mitigate risk and help navigate disruption. They also need to continue retooling the finance organization, moving beyond traditional roles and investing in their talent strategies. By focusing on these initiatives, CFOs can increase the competitive position of their companies and further solidify their position as strategic advisors across the C-Suite.

Annie Peabody

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting


Eric Noren

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting


Michael Di Stefano

Manager – Strategy and Consulting, CFO & Enterprise Value

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