The modern world demands that CFOs move beyond the work of mere finance management to contribute to digital transformation, technological integration and strategic planning. You are on the front lines integrating AI and automation, and constantly strategizing to balance growth with allocating capital strategically.
This shift is the driving force between the finance and accounting trends of 2024. Here, we delve into those trends to show how they will empower CFOs to make an impact with their work this year and beyond. Let’s look at the main trends to be aware of.
10 Key Trends in Finance & Accounting in 2024
The following trends will enable CFOs to drive substantial business impact with innovative approaches, flexibility, and strategic foresight.
1. Optimising Business Processes
Trying to do more with less is a rising theme, and CFOs will aim to demonstrate the positive profit and loss impacts of their teams. Navigating challenges is par for the course in a volatile economy. Thus, the focus is now on strategic deployment of:
- Cost-effective business optimisation measures.
- Risk mitigation.
- Contingency planning.
The goal is to identify opportunities to boost efficiency and increase profits. Innovative technology that can simultaneously model multiple scenarios, assumptions, and variables is key.
2. Generative AI
This game-changing technology offers deep insights into business data and its interpretation. We are already seeing it used to manage resources more strategically, yielding the following benefits:
- Reduced revenue leakage.
- Stronger supply chains.
- Measures to mitigate inflation.
Generative AI is emerging as a critical finance tool, and innovative CFOs will find ways to use it for creative approaches to data analysis.
3. Real-Time Analytics and Insights
With AI gaining momentum, businesses need to be forward-thinking in leveraging its potential. It can reduce time spent on repetitive tasks to enable faster real-time interactions.
Waiting until month-end is no longer viable, and real-time analytics facilitate faster, data-driven decision-making. If you aren’t up on things like Business Intelligence (BI) and real-time data, you are likely to fall behind the competition in 2024.
4. More Focus on Strategic Capital Allocation
Concentrate your efforts on strategic capital allocation in 2024. It’s essential for navigating the coming era of economic volatility. A meticulous and discerning approach to investment decisions is now crucial, so capital allocation is coming back into fashion.
We are no longer in a time of low-cost capital. Start applying more rigour to investment decisions if you want to sustain growth and profitability.
5. Hybrid Working Models
It is important to foster an environment where employees are motivated. This means getting better at people management, and one of the most important approaches to this is adapting to hybrid working.
From last year, hybrid working has become the new normal. While this has caused some tensions within organisations, it has become clear that it is here to stay. It may require strong change management for some, but you need to adopt this practice to retain staff and keep them motivated.
6. Balance Sheet Management
Gain an intimate understanding of every balance sheet line and prepare robust pro forma statements to plan for the future. This puts you in a strong position to navigate the peaks and troughs of the economy. Frequent reviews of your financial will help you identify issues and facilitate smoother month-end closes.
Reconnect with what drives the business in order to prepare reliable forecasts. You should be constantly looking to the future, so revisit general ledger posting logs to identify issues throughout the month instead of waiting until month-end.
7. Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) are something businesses often turn to for growth in economic downturns. If you have sufficient cash reserves, you can acquire struggling or undervalued businesses to expand market share and diversify offerings. M&A was very active in Q4 of 2023, and this is expected to continue well into 2024.
CFOs are at the centre of M&A, assessing potential acquisitions. Take advantage of data analytics tools whilst evaluating prospects for a clearer idea of the implications. Use them to:
- Run predictive models.
- Identify growth opportunities.
- Analyse cost synergies.
This analytical approach could help justify investments and avoid costly errors.
8. Stronger Relationships with C-Level Peers
CFOs may have a stronger role in building bridges between departments to bring about better outcomes. Cross-department collaboration is important in the current economic climate. CFOs will need to work closely with the CEO and other C-level peers to make key decisions about investments and cutbacks.
Through enhanced collaboration with leaders in other business-critical areas, you will get enhanced insights into the drivers of overall performance. This will reveal areas for improvement and create better synergy throughout the organisation.
9. Digitalisation and AI-Powered Automation
Digitalisation and AI-powered automation have fundamentally changed how CFOs operate. Automated data-driven workflows are now the norm, and upcoming improvements in the technology available will enable significant automation of business workflows.
Data insights will be a key benefit to this. With tools to analyse data more effectively, CFOs will be able to make more informed decisions. And with digitalisation freeing up time and brain capacity among staff, there will be more energy to spend on analysing data rather than sourcing and organising it.
10. Balanced Growth Strategies
As you gear up for investing in 2024, be mindful that balancing growth with optimisation and profitability is the main trend. ROI should be the order of the day, so resource building should be synchronised with revenue expansion. This will be the best path to sustainable profit and growth.
In times of economic volatility, accurate accounting is paramount. All the trends leading into 2024 for CFOs revolve around this, and many involve making use of cutting-edge and emerging technologies to improve efficiency. Accounting software and centralised data are pivotal considerations, and the integration of AI tools and automation are essential considerations.
As in 2023, ERP software is the most comprehensive solution available. It is the benchmark for success in business in a digital world, offering diverse and robust tools that constantly evolve with the times. You can tailor your system to include only the tools and resources that you need, and access capabilities that tick every box in this list and more.
Why choose Eventura as your ERP implementation partner?
As Sage 200 Partners and NetSuite Solution Providers, we can help you identify which solution will fit your business needs the best. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.
We’re also managed IT service providers meaning we can help you identify your entire IT infrastructure requirements from day one. If you would like to speak to one of our ERP experts, you can request a free call back here.