Against a backdrop of declining confidence in business, it is worth highlighting some of the factors placing increasing pressures on CFOs, including cyber crime, cryptocurrencies and political instability.

The response to the recent collapse of Carillion has shown that politicians and the media are quick to condemn senior management of high-profile businesses when something goes wrong. This sentiment seems to be matched by a lack of public confidence. Edelman’s annual Trust Barometer shows that only half of the world’s population trust businesses to do the right thing, and with recent revelations from the leaked Panama and Paradise papers, corporate practices continue to be thrust into the spotlight.

One may have thought that responding to commercial pressures as well as keeping on top of financial reporting, including getting to grips with new complex financial reporting standards, managing budgets and cashflows, maintaining adequate systems and controls and challenging the relevance of corporate transactions, together with considering the implications of Brexit and GDPR, may be enough to keep a CFO busy.

Clearly, CFOs are key personnel in ensuring that the business, and its strategy, is robust enough to withstand the challenges raised by the full range of these issues. However, with developing technology and a changing landscape, the opportunity for disputes and issues to arise is an increasing focus of a CFO’s time.

Jul-Sep 2018 issue

Grant Thornton UK LLP