Research from Robert Half has found the majority of Australia's CFOs are putting staff acquisition, staff retention and professional development for their employees at the top of their list. The survey asked CFOs what their key focus areas will be in 2017 and 2020. More than half (54 per cent) of the nation's CFOs will focus on talent management this year. The focus on staff acquisition, retention and development bodes well for today's jobseekers and employees eager to embrace professional development opportunities.
David Jones, senior managing director at Robert Half Asia Pacific said: "A company's success is most dependent on the performance of its staff, which emphasises the importance of talent management for any business. This means not just recruiting professionals with the right skills, but also further developing the skillsets of existing staff and retaining top performers."
Implementing new technologies will take over as the number one goal by 2020, with 54 per cent saying it will be their key focus by 2020. The increased focus on implementing new technologies highlights the progressively important role technology is playing in the finance function of Australian businesses.
As companies endeavour to explore new ways to streamline business practices, updating internal financial policies and procedures comes in second on the list of priorities for 2017 for 49 per cent of CFOs, and it will be just as relevant in 2020 (48 per cent).
"In order to remain competitive in an uncertain market, finance companies will need to adapt quickly to change and streamline their internal procedures to maximise on their potential, whilst still focusing on turning a profit and expanding their market share. In order to achieve this, businesses will need to foster their high-achieving staff members, as well as recruit top financial talent," David Jones added.
"The rapid development of new technology is seeing finance undergo dramatic change, and it makes good business sense for Australian CFOs to prepare for the increasing digitisation of the finance function,” he said. “CFOs need to plan ahead to fully leverage new technologies, and having suitably skilled professionals in place is a key part of this planning process.
"Nonetheless, technology is only as good as the people who use it, and having a team of professionals in place today, with the right experience, soft skills and technical knowledge, is critical to navigating change and allowing a business to take full advantage of opportunities in the future," concluded David Jones.