The 2020 CFO Indicator Survey Report

How finance leaders take on a changing world.

Between March and May 2020, we asked 225 CFOs from global organizations how they’re navigating uncertainty by initiating finance digital transformation.

Learn what finance digital transformation entails and how it helps CFOs adapt.

The 2020 CFO Indicator Survey Report

Defining Finance Transformation

What is finance digital transformation?

Finance digital transformation is the implementation and use of digital technologies such as the cloud, machine learning, and augmented analytics to finance processes to create more efficacy, insight, and agility. Upskilling and change management are essential success factors.

Our Survey Findings

The two types of finance organizations.

Digital accelerators.

More than half (54%) of surveyed CFOs have implemented digital transformation initiatives for their finance organizations.

Digital novices.

The remainder of respondents (46%) say they haven’t yet started their digital transformation journeys.

Digital accelerators are reaping the benefits.

Increased agility.

Seven in 10 digital accelerators consider their teams to be better at responding and reacting quickly to change.

More confidence.

73% are confident in the accuracy of their two-year P&L forecast.

Greater efficacy.

Nearly three-quarters of digital accelerators describe their team as more proficient at reporting, planning, and financial close.

Digital accelerators are reaping the benefits.

Increased agility.

Seven in 10 digital accelerators consider their teams to be better at responding and reacting quickly to change.

More confidence.

73% are confident in the accuracy of their two-year P&L forecast.

Greater efficacy.

Nearly three-quarters of digital accelerators describe their team as more proficient at reporting, planning, and financial close.

CFOs can make an impact on skills and culture.

Nearly one-third of finance leaders say that their digital transformation initiatives have stalled due to a lack of necessary skills and change-resistant cultures. But CFOs can shift this status quo by focusing on three key things.

Closing the skills gap.

Through recruitment and reskilling, CFOs can work with HR to build a workforce that drives digital transformation and meets finance’s broader goals.

Preparing for future initiatives.

88% of digital accelerators are confident that their culture supports digital transformation, compared with just 35% of digital novices.

Fostering a culture of innovation.

By embracing new technologies, processes, and ways of working, CFOs can create agile workplaces that can adapt to whatever the future brings.

Data stewardship is key.

As data becomes an increasingly important business asset, nearly half of CFOs know that they should play a larger role in managing how data is collected, stored, and analyzed—but only 27% currently do so.

Rising to the challenges of COVID-19.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to upend traditional ways of working, CFOs can help organizations turn this unprecedented change into opportunity.

Focus on digital transformation.

Before the crisis began, only 5% of CFOs said they would prioritize their initiatives within the next year—now it’s 34%.

Create more risk-aware teams.

Enhancing predictive modeling and risk management capabilities can help CFOs better plan for whatever the future brings.

Adapt to new regulations.

The right skills and technology can help finance keep up with new compliance requirements stemming from the pandemic.


Get all the 2020 CFO Indicator Survey findings.