The view from the top

Global CEOs see a powerful future for their CFOs according to KPMG International’s global survey of over 500 executives from six continents.

Welcome to the age of the renaissance CFO.


CEOs expect a lot of their CFOs. Today’s CFOs need to manage an ecosystem of expanding complexity—increasing globalization, leveraging financial data and analytics, optimizing business strategies, turning regulatory ‘burden’ into opportunity, and identifying disruptors that may upend business models—all with a view to achieving a competitive advantage.

They want an individual who can maintain a full grasp on the numbers while keeping a forward-looking focus on customers and the markets, developing talent and leveraging the power of technology. At the same time, CFOs need to go beyond the numbers to tell a good story to analysts, investors and the press as well as turn data into actionable intelligence. They need to possess strong leadership qualities, understand and collaborate with operations, and think and act globally.

Thirty percent (30%) of CEOs say their CFOs don’t understand and assist with the challenges that they face within the organization

KPMG International’s global report, The view from the top, results of a survey of over 500 executives from six continents, reveals that we have entered the age of the renaissance CFO.

The survey findings reaffirm the critical role the CFO plays in the enterprise while also challenging the CFO to think differently and exude stronger leadership capabilities. One thing is clear: something has to change if CFOs are going to close the gap between the expectations of their CEOs and the reality on the ground. Are CFOs up to the challenge? Are their CEOs’ expectations realistic? What is the best course for CFOs who see the potential of becoming a more strategic business partner — or have set their sights on becoming a CEO?


Our study looks at the CFO through a CEO lens and takes a deep dive into the unique challenges and transformative attributes of the CFO’s role. Download the report for findings of the survey. 

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