CFO perspectives: 2024 and beyond

Sophie Barker (née Roebuck), Davide Cassanelli, Stuart Higson 27 Mar 2024

Global insights and predictions


We spoke to CFOs, globally, to find out what the next 12 to 24 months has in store for the finance function. Among the themes identified, we highlight and discuss five key areas.

  • Finance, a function on the frontline: with costs rising due to inflation, supply chain issues and global instability, not to mention debt repayments edging up due to interest rates, it’s unsurprising that CFOs currently see economic challenges as the biggest threat to their organizations.
  • Doing more with less: as organizations brace for cost-centric decision-making in the coming months, finance leaders are not counting on budget increases for support. They are poised to drive value in organizational performance and productivity, however only a small number of the CFOs we spoke to believe that more investment would enhance productivity, pointing to alternative strategies for improvement.
  • The issue of disruption, tech and AI: despite recognizing the critical need for data analytics and digital proficiency, many finance leaders admit they are only at the beginning or intermediate stages of employing data-driven decision-making.
  • The importance of strategy: as finance leadership roles evolve, we’re seeing a shift in the perception of CFOs from functional experts to value-adding business leaders. The majority of respondents already spend up to half of their time on future business strategy, and that looks to be increasing.
  • From CFO to CEO: many finance leaders are still setting their sights on CEO roles, with almost a third seeing a natural progression to the top leadership position – second only to those in commercial leadership roles. Yet the journey to the top is fraught with challenges.


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Image of Leathwaite employee Sophie Barker

Sophie Barker (née Roebuck)

Sophie is a Consultant in the CFO & Audit  and Board practices in London. She executes on global searches, primarily in the UK, Asia, Middle East and Americas. Her primary areas of focus include CFOs and FDs as well as…

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Davide Cassanelli

Davide is an Executive Search Consultant based in the London office. Davide is a member of the global CFO and the Private Equity practices, helping Leathwaite to further grow the Portfolio Company market. Davide brings over a decade of global…

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Image of Leathwaite employee Stuart Higson

Stuart Higson

Stuart is a Partner in Leathwaite’s New York office, leading the Financial Officers practice across North America and specializing in placing Chief Financial Officers, Chief Auditors and their direct reports. Stuart has been with Leathwaite since 2014, spending five years…

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