No question, 2020 has been the most chaotic business environments in recent history and roles and responsibilities have changed dramatically for C-Suite executives. With changes flying at you from left and right, all this pivoting might have left you dizzy. 

In July through October 2020, the Controllers Council surveyed more than 300 Controllers, CFOs, and related professionals in accounting and corporate finance roles. The objective of this study: to identify how the roles and responsibilities of these important executives have changed, adapted and evolved. 

Eight Talking Points on the Evolution of Your Role

So what should you be focused on in the coming year? How are you adapting to the continued changes? Our entire report explores many more statistics and discusses in detail the implications of each. Though we’ll be discussing these in much greater detail in the coming months, here are just a few key statistics you should have on your radar:

  • Controllers Took on More Work, CFOs Were There to Support Them: When asked whether the responsibilities increased, decreased, or stayed the same, a vast majority—73 percent of all respondents—saw heavier workloads. But it’s not just the Controller who saw his or her role increase. 78 percent of CFOs took on more work in 2020. Get to know key steps to grow personally and professionally.
  • One in Five Firms Saw Growth in 2020: It was a difficult year for many businesses. However, 35 percent of respondents were able to maintain or grow. Just over one in five saw growth, and ten percent labeled that growth ‘significant’. Not among these? Join us on December 15 for How to Thrive in 2021.
  • Cash Flow is Highly Delegated: If there’s one area being delegated, it’s transaction management. Roughly three in four respondents delegated both sides of a transaction, with 73 percent of controllers supervising purchasing and AP and 71 percent leaving orders, billing, and accounts receivable to a report. Learn more about how to automate these here.
  • Financial Planning and Analysis Gets a More Hands on Approach: Both controllers and CFOs are taking on FP&A head on. Nearly seven in ten controllers listed FP&A a primary role, with 83 percent of CFOs considering themselves directly responsible. Possibly the reason many are opting to automate this.
  • The Path from Controller to CFO Requires Some Distance from the Books: Controllers eyeing the corner office need to start taking on a broader role. The top responsibility for controllers, bookkeeping and reporting is one of the most commonly delegated CFO responsibilities. What else should you look at? Watch our controller to CFO webcast here.
  • Technology Decisions Moving to the Finance Department: If it affects the bottom line, it’s the finance department’s role. Technology affects the bottom line, therefore, it’s going to be part of your job. With 39 percent of controllers and 25 percent of CFOs currently taking no tech responsibility, many see themselves moving into the space. Learn some of the talking points in a technology conversation here.
  • The Cloud Has Moved into the Mainstream: Driven in part by the transition to a remote workforce and in part by the maturation of the cloud, more than half of respondents currently using a cloud platform as part of their technology stack. Not there yet? Get to know more in our free guide, The Ultimate Guide to Cloud Migration. Already in the cloud? See what’s coming next.
  • Continuing Education Tops the List of Reasons to Join a Professional Association: Whether a CPA, CMA, or one of the many other license-holding professionals, keeping that license is the likely reason behind membership in a professional organization. According to our report, continuing education and training are the main drivers behind joining one. These were closely followed by networking, peer interaction, and career advancement. Controllers Council offers all this and more.

Get the Report: Free with Your Controllers Council Membership

Statistics are one thing—insights are another. If you’re looking to understand more about what success will look like in 2021 and beyond, we invite you to purchase our first annual Contemporary Controller report. Much like the highlights of our executive summary, the above-mentioned statistics are just a small part of the entire report.

Want to get this report for free? It’s just one of the many things that comes with a Controllers Council Membership. Click here to learn about all of the benefits of membership and join today!

Want even more insights? Members and Non-Members alike are invited to watch our free Contemporary Controller webcast recap featuring a discussion between Lindy Antonelli, Controllers Council Board Chair and Guy Barkwill, Assistant Controller of Bill.com on what the results mean to you. Click here to watch the free recap. Or view the full report.

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Controllers Council is a national community and platform of controllers, accounting and finance professionals focused on accounting best practices, information, and resources, recognition and networking.