Three Key Actions CFOs Should Take Heading Into 2024

Blog post

Omar Choucair, CFO, Trintech, has spent 20+ years leading financial and administrative organizations for public and private companies.

After an economically turbulent and unpredictable year, many organizations are looking forward to “closing the book” on 2023, with sights set squarely on a focused 2024 strategic plan. While the final weeks of the year can often feel like an afterthought with holiday parties and much-deserved PTO in sight, for the Office of the CFO, there is no letting the foot off the gas.

As this volatile year draws to a close, CFOs find themselves at the critical juncture of wrapping up ongoing financial operations and positioning their organizations to hit the ground running when the calendar flips to the new year.

EY recently found that the biggest challenge of being a modern CFO is “finding time to build knowledge and expertise through exposure to external expertise and access to thought leadership.”

If CFOs want to make the most of this pivotal final month of the calendar year, below are three key actions to ensure they aren’t starting the new year already behind the curve. By meticulously addressing year-end compliance work, nurturing crucial external relationships and streamlining internal communications, CFOs can manage their teams into the upcoming year with resilience, preparedness and a clear pathway heading into 2024.

1. Year-End Compliance Work

The end of the year marks a crucial phase for CFOs to ensure all compliance-related tasks are efficiently handled. This period demands a thorough review of financial records, ensuring they align with the growing regulatory standards and company financial policies. CFOs must oversee the completion of tax filings, financial reports, shareholder filings and any remaining compliance obligations, ensuring accuracy and completeness.

By addressing these obligations in a timely and accurate manner, CFOs can avoid “unexpected surprises.”

2. Managing Year-End Relationships

Collaboration and maintaining strong ties with key stakeholders are pivotal for a CFO’s success. Engaging with company accountants, bankers, attorneys and other key external stakeholders during the final month of the year provides a bridge to the upcoming busy first quarter of next year.

Furthermore, a proactive dialogue with these partners ensures that all relationships remain robust and any communication channels are open. This proactive approach solidifies existing connections and also fosters a relationship of trust and reliability, which is critical for CFOs to successfully maintain their organization’s financial ecosystem.

3. Managing Internal Communications

Effective internal communication is the bedrock for organizational alignment and synergy. For both public and private companies, this entails strategizing on how best to communicate with the board. Engaging in discussions about financial performance, potential strategic shifts and forthcoming plans is crucial to keep the board informed and aligned with the company’s vision.

Public companies have additional responsibilities including communicating updates on the company’s performance, such as earnings, 10Ks and other critical metrics to public shareholders as well as employees. This nurtures transparency and ensures that employees are well-informed and engaged in the company’s journey heading into the new year.

A Seamless Transition Into The New Year

Over the past several years, the expanding strategic role of the CFO has transcended the historical view of CFOs as number crunchers. CFOs are steering the financial ship with an eye to profitable growth, ensuring strong monitoring of all required compliance work, nurturing key relationships and ensuring internal communications are clear and strategic.

Embracing these key actions in the final month of the year sets the stage for a seamless transition into the new year, fostering resilience and adaptability amid an ever-evolving business landscape. By proactively addressing these critical areas, CFOs can instill confidence, both internally and externally, as they chart the course for a successful and prosperous future.

Finally, please remember to thank your team before the end of the year. Especially after a year like 2023, we all know it takes an engaged finance team to successfully keep the Office of Finance running smoothly, and ensuring everyone who played a key part feels recognized will go a long way in making sure they feel confident and ready in the new year.