In brief

In brief

  • CFOs are becoming powerful digital stewards leveraging data to drive value, improve efficiency and empower CEOs with strategic insights.
  • Learn how CFOs can fully harness the power of data to overcome barriers, transform their role and work alongside CEOs as a key partner.
  • The success of future finance leaders depends on today’s CFOs evolving their hiring practices.

Today's CEOs are looking toward organizational transformation to find new, innovative ways to turn insights into action. Who among C-suite executives can help them oversee this enterprise-wide overhaul?

The CFO.

Finance executives have emerged as powerful digital stewards, using data to drive greater efficiency and foster new, digitally-driven business models that help evolve the enterprise. With a unique bird’s-eye view of their companies, CFOs are looking beyond the traditional boundaries of the finance function and collaborating with CEOs to develop data- and insight-driven strategies—creating sustainable growth, long-term value and profound change.

And that’s only the beginning. By 2020, the finance function as we know it will be transformed by CFO innovation as talent is reskilled and deployed throughout the business in a new strategic capacity.


of CFOs see identifying and targeting areas of new value across the business as one of their main responsibilities.


of CFOs believe it is within their purview to drive business-wide operational transformation.

So how did the CFO ascend from accountant to business partner to the CEO’s most trusted advisor?

Our study takes a deeper dive into the dynamic new role of CFOs, unpacking the challenges they face and the ways in which they can leverage technology, skills and relationships to position their companies for growth.

"In virtually every company we look at, the CFO is becoming the second most important C-suite executive. An effective leadership team depends on the CEO and CFO being a great double act."

— DAVID AXSON, Managing Director – Accenture Strategy and CFO and Enterprise Value, UKI

Next steps

As routine tasks are automated, the CFO will create more meaningful and impactful roles for finance professionals, from leading digitalization transformations to developing new ways of mining data for growth-driven insights.

The CFO is in an elevated position, serving as an innovator and a disruptor who can harness data to unleash new value. Now is the time for all CFOs to wield the power of digital and secure their organization’s growth objectives.

About the research

Our research explores the transforming—and transformational—role of the CFO to uncover trends, obstacles and best practices for organizations ready to pivot to the new.


finance and C-suite leaders surveyed, including 50 CFOs, plus more than 200 up-and-coming finance professionals from countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, Brazil, Spain and Singapore.


industries covered, including banking, consumer goods, insurance, retail, oil and gas, metals and mining, utilities, high tech, and communications and media.

About the Authors

Steve Culp

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Enterprise Value, Finance and Risk

Dr. Christian Campagna

Senior Managing Director – Accenture Strategy, CFO and Enterprise Value

David Axson

Senior Strategy Executive Principal – Accenture CFO Strategies and CFO and Enterprise Value

Haralds Robeznieks

Senior Principal – Accenture Research


Digital by design: Tomorrow’s finance team today
A value-led Accenture Finance transformation
Unlocking value with analytics

Get the Essentials

Discover how CFOs are leveraging the latest tech to give the rest of the C-suite a bird’s-eye view of the business.

The Big Read

30 minute read

Full Research Report

Find how CFOs are delivering data-driven insights and transforming organizations.


Short Research Report

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CFOs are evolving. Discover how they’re leveraging disruptive tech to become the strategic enablers in their organization.


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Learn how CFOs are quickly becoming the CEO’s most trusted advisor.



5 minute read

CFOs are helping the finance function and other departments deliver value like never before. Here's how.

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