2024: Our Predictions for the Finance Function
In the dynamic realm of senior finance, 2024 promises to be a year of strategic shifts, emerging trends, and nuanced financial landscapes. As we embark on this new fiscal year, Ashley Crich and Mitchell Partington, from the Berwick Partners’ Finance practice, discuss their predictions for the trends, challenges and opportunities for the finance function in 2024.
2024 will be another challenging year for finance leaders. The war for talent will continue and simple supply and demand challenges will continue to drive wage inflation in junior and middle management. This in turn will continue to close the remuneration gap with the senior and executive leaders.
Leaders will continue to face challenges related to attracting and retaining the best talent especially for senior and more niche opportunities. In a competitive job market, attracting and retaining skilled professionals continues to be a hurdle for many organisations especially where there is increased scrutiny on auditing and compliance. The regulatory environment for financial institutions and finance leaders is expected to remain stringent. The ongoing scrutiny on auditing practices and compliance standards in relation to transparency and accountability is putting further strain on finance and placing more pressure on the availability of key accounting skills.
Advancements in technology will continue and must be embraced. Both the desire to adapt to and the ability to embrace and drive through digital transformation is critical. Including the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain, which will only enhance efficiency and mitigate risks. But, all this comes as additional responsibility on an already stretched portfolio for many.
The global macroeconomic landscape will significantly impact finance leaders and their roles. Economic uncertainty and geopolitical events, changes in trade policies, and other yet unknown events will pose challenges that finance leaders will need to navigate, with many issues expected to come to a head in 2024.
An increasing emphasis on ESG is also likely to influence decision-making. Roles may involve a greater focus on sustainability, ethical practices, and corporate social responsibility; and whilst this seems to be taking more of a back seat as far as many governments are concerned, many organisations continue to develop their own social responsibility strategies and finance leaders continue to play an increasing role in this area.
With the increasing reliance on digital platforms, finance professionals need to remain vigilant about cybersecurity threats. In addition, the rapidly increasing use of AI adds further consideration to every finance leads portfolio, with a need to determine both the risks and the opportunities on offer.
We conclude that the role of the finance leader has never been broader, more important, or more influential in shaping and maintaining the success of an organisation. Where previously finance decision making constrained a business, in 2024 it not only has a seat at the table but one of the loudest and most listened to voices.
If you wish to further discuss any of the topics covered in this article or have a conversation about increasing the senior finance capability in your organisation, please contact Ashley Crich or Mitchell Partington.