"When the CFO is having a bad day, everyone is having a bad day ..." This variation on an old adage may be especially true in tech departments, given that as many as 42% of CIOs report directly to CFOs, according to industry research. And, apparently, a lot of CFOs are having bad days lately. They're feeling pressured by rising healthcare costs, as well as the need to control spending and improve profitability, according to the report " CFO Concerns: What Are The Top Challenges Facing Today's Financial Executives,"
from staffing services firm Robert Half. The report includes survey results from more than 1,400 CFOs. In seeking ways to trim budgets, CFOs are cutting benefits and increasing financial pressures on managers and employees. One encouraging wrinkle in the research indicates that CFOs and their organizations willing to improve workplace morale with perks that don't present a major budget drain. As you plan your IT investment strategies, knowing what's top-of-mind for your CFO can help you decide how best to make your case. The bad news? According to the survey results, technology purchasing is not even on the radar when it comes to CFO priorities. "Although many concerns of financial executives are not new issues, they are compounded by today's economic and regulatory uncertainty," says Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half Management Resources. "Leaders continue to be tested in multiple ways - they are managing issues for which there are no right answers or proven outcomes."