Nearly 90% of CFOs Lack Confidence in Business Targets & AI Strategies

Taylor Bisacky
Taylor Bisacky
Content Marketing & Storytelling Manager, Coupa Software

Taylor Bisacky is an innovative marketing professional with nearly a decade of experience in multimedia storytelling. She’s passionate about helping business leaders and organizations creatively communicate and connect with current and potential customers. She earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Marketing and Broadcast Journalism from the Pennsylvania State University. 

Read time: 4 mins
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The weight of financial responsibility can feel immense, and for CFOs, this year has only added to the complexity of their already demanding roles. Imagine steering the course of a company through a period of significant economic shifts, global uncertainties, and heightened scrutiny. That's the reality for today's CFOs, who as a result are losing confidence in key business functions that risks the ability of their company to reach profitability and growth targets.

CFOs aren’t confident in the markets. They’re not confident in technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI). They’re not confident in all of their decisions, and some are not even confident in their own organizations. In today's unpredictable market, even the most seasoned finance leaders have doubts. In our latest Strategic CFO survey, Coupa reveals the surprising doubts CFOs have and their impact on decision-making, priorities, and investments in 2024.

Snapshot of Insights

90% of finance leaders are concerned about hitting sales targets.

45% of CFOs plan to invest in AI to drive growth, but 89% have doubts about successful AI implementation.

43% of finance leaders are unable to make informed decisions due to data challenges.

CFOs are AI hungry, but hesitant

CFOs are in a mental tug-of-war over AI. They’re eager to use AI, but don’t fully trust it and don’t want to risk infringing on strict privacy laws. At the same time, they’re captivated by AI’s potential to transform their operations for the better. In this new report, Coupa explains how CFOs are currently using AI, unveils their next AI investments, and showcases how finance leaders plan to use generative AI (GenAI) in their business processes. With 89% of CFOs concerned about their organization’s ability to implement its AI strategy, we delve into how finance leaders can navigate these investments in a smart way.

89% of CFOs are concerned about their organization’s ability to implement its AI strategy.

Data challenges cause bigger issues

CFOs, who are expected to be the stewards of financial clarity, are being blinded by the very data that’s supposed to empower them. Consequently, 43% of CFOs say they’re unable to make informed decisions due to data challenges. This is a huge red flag for the lifeblood of the larger organization as CFOs are now tasked with steering some of the business’ largest decisions. Coupa’s Strategic CFO survey provides crucial insights into why nearly one in two (46%) finance leaders lack full visibility into financial data across their company, and reveals the top mistakes to avoid these detrimental data challenges.

Nearly one in two (46%) finance leaders lack full visibility into financial data across their company.

“In today’s digital supply economy, the volume and complexity of financial data continues to grow exponentially. Without the right platform and technologies, viewing this data and extracting meaningful insights in a timely manner remains a significant challenge that can be detrimental to an organization’s performance. Given the complexity of the macroeconomic climate and today’s dynamic and uncertain supplier relationships, it’s critical CFOs embrace AI-driven analytics to respond faster to disruption, uncover opportunities, and use data and AI to increase operating leverage for their business. That’s how strategic CFOs will ensure they’re making the most informed, profitable decisions to fuel their organization’s growth amidst a continuously changing environment.”

Kevin Burns, CFO, Coupa

Compounding compliance complications escalate risk management

There’s a unanimous lack of confidence among finance leaders over their organization’s ability to maintain compliance standards across several regulatory aspects. More than a third of CFOs say data protection, financial regulations, and cybersecurity compliance cause them the most concern. These doubts are likely compounded by the evolving regulatory landscape, with new compliance requirements such as UK SOX and e-invoicing mandates in Europe. Failing to comply also leaves a company vulnerable to risks, data breaches, and can destroy business reputations. Given top strategic priorities this year, there are even higher stakes as most CFOs reported plans to pursue a liquidity event. Coupa’s latest findings provide a sneak peak into the solutions CFOs are considering to combat these compliance risks and challenges.

Gain exclusive CFO insights to improve your 2024 strategies, combat market uncertainties, and rebuild confidence.

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