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CFOs are no longer just responsible for all-things-money. In 2022, their scope is a whole lot wider. With a looming energy crisis, slow-paced recovery from Covid-19, supply chain issues and high inflation, CFOs need to be acting as co-pilot to their CEOs. They need to be discussing strategy, discovering the merits of technology, aligning with marketing, keeping the office plants alive… whatever helps to keep the lights on.

One thing our customers love about Pleo is how much time they get back. Time to focus on the work that matters, rather than the boring admin that our product takes care of behind the scenes. All of your expenses, reimbursements and invoices: automated. Finance teams remain in control while employees feel trusted to spend autonomously – it’s safe to say that Pleo makes sense for everyone

Here are just a few of the areas CFOs can start to prioritise and upskill in thanks to Pleo doing the leg work.

Marketing

Marketing is powered by data. Which makes the finance team perfectly placed to offer insights and help the business make the most from their digital advertising efforts. There’s a reason why Deloitte sees marketing and finance as a “partnership for growth”, after all. 

In fact, 81% of finance professionals agree that marketing investments were more effective when there was strong collaboration between CFO and CMO.

Finance can also help marketers to measure success, create KPIs to track growth and oversee the financing needed to give the product a successful launch. While the CFO reevaluates how to optimise the marketing budget, creatives can get to work testing different messaging to drive better (aka more lucrative) outcomes 💰

Building your finance team

Hiring is usually the remit of the HR or People team, but it could pay (literally) for CFOs to play more of a leading part when it comes to building their own team. With many companies facing challenges like never before, having a world-class team to support you is key. 

The finance team is crucial for providing the right information for accurate decision-making, budgeting for the future, overseeing investor relations and tracking progress against the financial plan. So having the right people to help you do this should be a priority. Whether it’s tapping into your LinkedIn network or writing compelling job descriptions, CFOs can play a key role in growing a successful finance team. 

Using Pleo is a way of showing you trust your employees to spend autonomously, but it all starts with hiring trustworthy people. And what better way to do this than by vetting them yourself? We wrote about how to attract the best finance talent so you can make sure your team is the cream of the crop. (Looking for a new role in finance? Find out how to get hired remotely!)

Employee retention

With the average cost of employee turnover sitting at around £30,000 per person, there’s no doubt that high churn is costly. And it’s never been so topical as now, during what’s been dubbed the great resignation. So it’s in every CFO’s interest to reduce this, not just the Head of Talent.

One of the biggest reasons people move jobs is to boost their salary. Armed with knowledge of everyone’s salaries, the finance team can look into incentivising productivity and performance. People want to feel valued and invested in at work, so CFOs might consider assessing the company’s current perks. Benefits like learning & development budgets, corporate discounts and insurance packages can help to create a culture of care and encourage employees that they’re better looked after at your company than they would be anywhere else.

Pleo Analytics can help businesses spot interesting trends and give CFOs the tools to address these. For instance, if salespeople are always expensing mileage because they’re on the road a lot – and this is repeatedly cited as a reason for moving jobs – you could look into incentivising travel. Maybe you could offer free meals to those who drive to client meetings, or offer public transport alternatives to reduce the pressure on drivers.

Don’t forget that Pleo works to empower your people, which is another way to show you trust them. Pleo Pocket means employees don’t have to wait months to be reimbursed and they’re never out-of-pocket because every purchase goes through Pleo. If that’s not a reason to stay, we don’t know what is 🤷‍♀️

ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) 

Sustainability is on everyone’s lips right now. It’s a hot topic (pun intended) that CFOs would do well to get more involved with. It’s already something we’re seeing leaders take initiative on, with 59% of CFOs predicting that sustainability will be integral to longer term planning by the end of 2022.

A company’s ESG strategy is seen as a window into their future performance, and it’s in the finance team’s best interest to be more eco-friendly. Opting for sustainable business practices can help reduce your company’s carbon footprint, become more energy efficient and cut overhead costs. It can help you tap into new markets and offer a competitive advantage, something pretty much every business is looking for at the moment. And the best part? Lots of the skills required to drive ESG outcomes can already be found in finance teams, like risk management and cost optimisation. 

Being ESG-focused isn’t just desirable to investors, customers and partners – it’s a big green flag for prospective employees, too. Not sure how to be more sustainable? Learn everything you need to know about the UK’s new climate legislation.

Making finance visible to everyone

In many companies, those outside of the finance team don’t have a clue what’s going on money-wise. Annual revenue, monthly outgoings, new sales… these numbers are often kept behind closed doors. But why keep these to yourself when relaying this information can do wonders for productivity?

Transparency builds trust and boosts employee confidence. So if your business is having a record-breaking quarter, share the good news! Alternatively, if targets aren’t being hit, informing people of the numbers can encourage them to move the needle in the right direction. People love to know the value they’re providing (it’s why everyone likes winning awards for performance), so sharing those vital stats is one way of making them aware of their contributions.

82% of employees are interested in their company’s financial performance.

With Pleo, you get all the details on business outgoings – from who’s the biggest spender to which merchant you spend with most frequently. Wondering whether you spend more money on client dinners or office supplies? Pleo knows. If money is tight, keeping an eye on spending can help you identify where you need to cut back and communicate this to the wider company. You can even adjust the limits on people’s cards to reduce overall spending.

These are just a few of the business areas CFOs can get stuck into while Pleo sorts the finance admin. The more aligned you are with other teams, the more likely you are to push the business in the right direction. Leave expenses to Pleo and focus on not just surviving, but thriving.

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