A new survey from Citizens Bank explores how mid-market CFOs in the U.S. are anticipating new technologies and market trends for the year to come, with these professionals signaling interest in real-time and electronic payments.
In an announcement Thursday (Dec. 14), Citizens Commercial Banking released the results of its newest survey, which examines input from 300 CFOs at companies with between $25 million and $2 billion in annual revenue. According to the report, mid-market CFOs are prioritizing their ability to keep pace with technological change in the years ahead, which includes the proliferation of electronic payments, real-time payments and big data.
“As the role of the middle-market CFO expands and the anticipated changes in the business landscape take hold, there will be growing demand for trusted financial advisors to help these ‘chief growth officers’ in middle-market companies to take advantage of new opportunities,” said Steve Woods, head of corporate banking for Citizens Bank.
The survey also found that the role of the CFO at mid-market firms is evolving from one that focuses on managing company financials to one with added responsibilities of helping to form company strategies, identifying new opportunities and expanding their companies’ use of technology. Twenty-nine percent said they already spend as much time on company strategy as they do on operational and financial management tasks.
More than 80 percent agreed that a key priority for 2018 will be to continue focusing on operational efficiencies. Nearly half said they expect their firms to enter new markets, and 46 percent said they expect more product launches in the coming year.
According to Woods, when it comes to financial regulation, middle-market CFOs are particularly interested in tax reform.
“By and large, the CFOs we surveyed are watching the prospects for tax reform closely,” the executive stated. “However, confidence in the new administration’s ability to enact its pro-business agenda appears to be mixed, and companies are continuing to focus on self-funding of growth initiatives.”