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The 2022 U.S. Bank CFO Insights Report has found that finance leaders’ priorities have shifted as they work to help guide their firms through the current global business environment. Improving risk identification and mitigation is now a top priority for 30 percent of finance leaders, growing from 18 percent in 2021. Driving revenue growth is a top priority for only 21 percent of finance leaders compared to 35 percent in 2021.

Unsurprisingly finance leaders are most concerned with business risks, seeing the top risks facing their organizations as:

  • Talent shortage (40 percent).
  • Pace of technology change and digital disruption (36 percent).
  • High inflation (34 percent).

Regarding inflation risks:

  • The majority (57 percent) are identifying opportunities to cut costs, but fewer than four in 10 are conducting any other possible steps to manage inflation risks.
  • 35 percent are evaluating the credit risk of major customers.
  • 32 percent are evaluating working capital practices.
  • 32 percent are evaluating pricing.
  • 31 percent are hedging against rising costs of certain commodities and currencies.
  • Just 22 percent are evaluating salaries.

Regarding talent shortage risks:

  • 51 percent are assessing future skill requirements.
  • 42 percent are reviewing salaries and other employee benefits.
  • 42 percent are exploring opportunities to automate manual processes.
  • Just 18 percent are offering hybrid working for certain roles to manage talent risks.

Fewer than 15 percent of finance leaders are highly confident in their company’s ability to manage any of the identified business risks. For example, just 4 percent are highly confident they’ll manage high inflation.

“Our clients in the CFO office are facing a barrage of challenges – with new ones emerging seemingly every day – as they help guide their firms through a very uncertain external environment,” said Stephen Philipson, executive vice president at U.S. Bank Corporate & Commercial Banking. “Finance leaders should take this opportunity to play an even more significant role in risk management, ensuring they have an appropriate strategy to play defense while continuing to grow the bottom line.”

Obtain the 2022 CFO Insights Report (registration required).

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