Why Only One in Seven CFO Candidates Have the Right Skills for Emerging Mid-Market Businesses

With COVID-19, a turbulent political landscape, a cost of living crisis and increasing interest rates, UK businesses have faced many challenges in recent years.

Despite this, industry professionals are optimistic about the future for mid-market businesses. According to Alliance’s 2023 Global Mid-Market CFO Sentiment Study, 80% of CFOs are confident that their organisation will hit their revenue and margin targets in 2023.

Founder of the CFO Alliance, Nick Araco Jr., commented:

“In a time when the sentiment of their larger-enterprise peers is clearly trending negative, the majority of CFOs from emerging and mid-market enterprises are taking bold steps so that finance functions as a dynamic capability that enables them, their teams and their enterprises to do more to perform better in the year ahead.”

What organisations need to ask themselves now is does their CFO have the right skills for emerging mid-market businesses?

According to our assessments only one in seven CFO candidates actually possess the skills needed to navigate the complexities of today’s challenging business landscape, we ask why this is.

The challenges faced by mid-market organisations

 Mid-market businesses face a unique set of challenges including:

  • Limited resources
  • Balancing growth and profitability
  • Limited access to capital
  • Attracting and retaining top talent
  • Implementing and integrating new technology with limited resources and in-house expertise
  • Maintaining financial stability

Naturally, these challenges make the job of a CFO particularly demanding. They need to be agile and adaptable while being able to modify processes and technology which will help their organisation to scale and thrive.

How can organisations address the CFO skills gap?

CFOs are integral to the success of an organisation. When you’re hiring someone to join your team, you need to make smart hiring decisions.

We go beyond simply looking at qualifications. We use The Acuity Measure which uses peer to peer data to assess a candidate’s skills and whether they’re the right fit for your business.

Our assessment tool differentiates finance professionals who have the right technical skills from those who don’t – greatly eliminating the risk of a bad hire. We do this by validating candidates’ skills through assessment on Excel, accounting fundamentals, software literacy and even specialist areas of accounting and then compare them to their peers.

The Acuity Measure was developed against the five key dimensions that are needed for modern finance leaders to excel in their careers. Download our White Paper ‘5D FD: Benchmarking the Five-Dimensional Finance Director’ to learn more.

You can find out more about The Acuity Measure and how it works here. If you have any further questions or want to find out how to hire top talent into your organisation, get in touch with Acuity Associates.

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We only put forward candidates that have achieved a top 25% score vs. their peers.

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