Report: Mid-market CFOs put data visualization, business intelligence first for 2024

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Mid-market CFOs are ready to roll up their sleeves and attack some aggressive performance goals in 2024, according to the latest research from the CFO Alliance

Facing a continued skills gap on the accounting side—along with many financial teams being down a member or two versus last year—42 percent of CFOs polled expect to increase their workloads in the new year. 

This goes far beyond just filling in the gaps, the report finds, as many financial leaders in the mid-market are diving right into their capitalization models, with almost 35 percent planning a “cost rationalization initiative” to kickoff the New Year. 

But before many teams can even get started, about 39 percent of CFOs are making “major system implementations” priority number one, as most of the leaders polled (83 percent) expressed that they “can’t do more than their day-to-day” within their current workflow. 

These implementations include embarking on major technology overhauls, with a twofold focus.

Better team alignment—and clearer financial runway

The first is to close any gaps that may have come about over the course of the pandemic, as teams were focused on “solidifying the base from a customer and employee standpoint” when pandemic restrictions changed how business was conducted back in 2020. 

Next—and top-of-mind for the majority leaders polled—CFOs will be focusing on making strategic tech investments that are aimed at making their team (and by extension their entire organization) work smarter and in better alignment. 

“[…] functional leaders in sales, marketing, supply chain, operations, risk management all have plugged technology in that can capture data and make what was once not measurable, measurable,” CFO Alliance CEO and Founder Nick Araco noted in the report.

As a result, “data visualization” and “business intelligence” tech advancements were the top priority for the majority of respondents (44 percent). In a similar vein, 37 percent were embarking on workflow automation and AI implementations, while 36 percent were adopting new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. 

Taking a considered approach to AI

While many of the systems that the CFOs polled intent to introduce may rely on artificial intelligence, financial leaders have largely held off on wholeheartedly embracing AI as a part of their toolkit.

In some ways, this is tied to a skills gap, which 44 percent of financial leaders cited as the biggest roadblock to implementing workflow improvements. 

But with many mid-market CFOs hungry to find efficiencies in any corner of their department to hit their targets in 2024, they’ll need to embrace “data” and “technology” in order to accomplish their “strategy and “people” priorities—all four being the main focus areas outlined by respondents in the report. 

Syncing key systems to work smarter, faster

Finding efficiencies to increase the effectiveness of your financial team—and ultimately improving EBITDA—hinges on getting an accurate and holistic picture of the business. 

Especially for companies that focus heavily on research and development, it’s essential that finance is clued into the activities within the major costs centers of the organization to flag for areas of essential optimization. 

In both the U.S. and Canada, for instance, there are a wealth of R&D tax credits available at both the federal, state and provincial levels that are designed to help drive innovation and spur growth by helping businesses stretch their dollars further. By recouping a share of the investments businesses are already making into their product roadmap, mid-market CFOs can double down on innovation and drive even more market potential—to say nothing of the associated boost to EBITDA.

Maximize R&D investments with minimal effort

At Boast, we help financial leads streamline their R&D tax credit process by centralizing all of their invoice and payroll data into our Financial Data Hub. Viewed through this holistic lens—and alongside the key workflow and project tracking data collected from the systems your R&D teams are already using—financial data analysis and planning becomes more efficient and accurate,  while reducing the likelihood of manual errors. 

Our user-friendly Web Portal simplifies the management of your R&D tax credits, offering secure and easy access to reports and data along with a transparent view of your claim’s progress. With features like real-time tracking of your claim, R&D investments, secure data management, and digital audit binder, the Boast platform offers complete transparency and control, keeping you well-informed at every step of the R&D filing process. 

Boast has partnered with thousands of businesses across North America to tap into this critical funding and extend their runway. Talk to an expert from Boast today to learn more about our AI-driven processes and human expertise in driving innovation and helping ideas take flight. 

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