Blog/Thought Leadership April 11, 2022

Pricing & People: The Keys to Growth in 2022

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Finance executives are challenged by the implications of talent shortages, inflation, operationalizing ESG plans, digitizing processes, and driving overall business growth. As inflation surges and stimulus spending is declining, the finance function must suit up and prepare for continued volatility this year.

Although finance leaders and teams must be more strategic and innovative in financial planning than ever before, many feel optimistic about the future and are approaching increasingly complex situations head-on. 

Here Are 2 Strategies Proactive Finance Executives Should Implement in 2022 to Balance Volatility and Drive Growth: 

In PwC’s latest Pulse Survey, one of the most significant differences from previous surveys is the advanced collaboration across the C-suite. Strengthening talent strategies and applying digital transformation have become business-wide priorities. 

There is an increased focus on functional goals with 83% of CFOs concentrating on internal talent and 59% working to improve their pricing models to protect profitability. 

Hiring and Retaining Talent is a Top Concern for CFOs 

The struggle to find and keep talent has continued into 2022, and most business leaders do not see the issue resolving itself anytime soon. Nearly half of the respondents to the Pulse Survey feel that their talent issue is a risk to their 2022 growth targets. CFOs can revisit their recruitment, hiring, and talent retention by leveraging tech to fill gaps and broadening the candidate search. 

The need for a digitized finance function is more important than ever, especially when filling process gaps and optimizing the workload for your teams. Finance executives should double down on investing in digital solutions that can help address labor shortages, like process automation. Deloitte’s 2021 Digital Transformation Executive survey, indicated that digital transformation gives companies an edge over their less-digitally mature competitors. Companies that invest in digital solutions are more agile but can also more easily transition to successful hybrid work models, which many candidates are looking for. Investment in digital tools and enabling remote work creates productive, streamlined processes and gives companies an advantage over those with limited flexibility.

CFOs can also support talent management by proactively reexamining talent models and the skill sets needed by potential candidates. CFOs can create a robust talent pipeline and diversify their search to help ease talent concerns. 

Leading CFOs Are Repricing to Protect Margins and Digitizing to Improve Agility

Inflation and shifting consumer demand have driven finance leaders to develop plans to remedy and balance margins pressures. CFOs are being pushed to go further than repricing alone as passing higher prices to customers will not solve all their problems. Future-oriented finance teams are pursuing long-term, sustainable growth in two ways: CFOs (53%) plan to revisit pricing strategies to offset costs and (48%) increase their investment in digital transformation for the immediate efficiency and scalability needed for growth. Finance leaders are focused on strengthening their data analytics, artificial intelligence, and cloud technology to optimize costs and create an efficient workforce. Nearly 40% are using automation to streamline their payables processes, unlock data-driven insights, and free up their finance team’s time for strategic purposes.

Many business leaders fear that these challenges pose a significant threat to profitability and overall financial health. CFOs can drive strategic planning and tactical execution by garnering support from the rest of the C-suite. By bringing together the various business units and creating a cohesive financial ecosystem where forecasting is reliable and customizable for each unit, CFOs can positively influence their companies in the near term and future.  

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