KPMG: One In Three CEOs Think Their Finance Directors Aren't Up To The Challenge

Getty/Jeff J Mitchell

CEOs in Asia Pacific see a powerful future ahead for the CFO (Chief Financial Officer), according to a report by KPMG called The View from the Top.

But almost one-third of those same chief executives feel their finance head is not ready for the challenge.

The report shows that CEOs believe data analytics will generate more powerful business intelligence.

They are looking to their CFO to take an investor’s perspective while providing business support and strategic input, examining decisions through a value lens and challenging strategy from a risk perspective.

They want the CFO to focus on growth, but he or she is typically mired in costs and compliance issues, wading through the numbers.

Randy Wong, KPMG Asia-Pacific Financial Management leader, says the report contains good and bad news for CFOs.

“The good news is that CEOs believe the CFO’s role will increase in importance over the next three years, compared to other C-suite roles,” he says.

“The bad news is that almost a third of the surveyed CEOs don’t believe their CFOs understand or assist enough with the business challenges they are facing.”

When asked a year ago about their roles, 60% of CFOs were happy with the overall performance of their finance function, and on average less than 10% rated any of their finance processes or services as a weakness.

“So there is a clear disconnect between the actual performance of the CFOs and the expectations of their bosses,” Wong says.

KPMG conducted a survey of 178 senior business executives at Asia Pacific companies in September and October of 2014. All companies surveyed report annual revenues of $500 million.

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