ACCA and BDO Unveil Research on CFOs: Expanding Role to Drive Business Decisions

PARN Global News Article - 13th June 2023

The role of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is evolving to encompass sustainability and social aspects of operations, according to a new research study conducted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and BDO, an international network of accounting firms. Over 100 CFOs and business leaders from around the world participated in roundtables and interviews to contribute their insights. The research sheds light on the changing nature of the CFO role, highlighting their growing involvement in driving business decisions and reporting on non-financial aspects of their organizations. 

The research study conducted by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and BDO finds that: 

  • The concept of value is crucial for organizations to manage performance and achieve sustainable futures. 
  • CFOs are increasingly adopting a value-centric approach, expanding their traditional financial remit to encompass the role of a chief value officer. 
  • Aspiring CFOs need to acquire a broad range of experiences, combining formal and informal learning activities, indicating the need for professional bodies and practices to engage with these evolving requirements. 

Helen Brand, the CEO of ACCA, emphasizes that CFOs are already assuming strategic leadership roles in their organizations and have an opportunity to further evolve the CFO role to address the value agenda for the next generation of CFOs. Carly Bleathman, a Partner at BDO UK, commends the CFOs for embracing the broader value agenda and recognizes their exceptional role in developing organizations. 

Albert Lopez, Global Head of Business Services and Outsourcing at BDO Global, highlights the positive stories of CFOs worldwide embracing the wider concept of value. He stresses the significance of embracing sustainability and delivering against it as a key responsibility for the profession to ensure a positive future. Lloyd Powell, head of ACCA Cymru/Wales, underscores the importance of CFOs in creating sustainable organizations and suggests changing the perception of finance teams current terminology. He acknowledges the efforts of finance teams in working towards this agenda. 

Overall, the research indicates that CFOs are increasingly taking on the role of chief value officers, aligning finance with sustainability goals and playing a crucial part in driving organizational success in a changing business landscape.