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New Year CFO Checklist: Prepare for the Future of Finance

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Even though we’re already in March, it is technically still early in the year, and many business owners and leaders are actively strategizing and refining their existing plans. As a CFO, you wear many hats, and you know firsthand how important short-term and long-term planning is to the success of your company.

You’re responsible for driving the business forward while also shouldering the responsibility of assessing risks. Your unique position allows you to spot industry trends and economic shifts that others may not. And it’s also your job to push the company towards revenue targets while managing expenses and cash flow carefully.

Clearly, you have a lot on your plate. That’s why you can’t afford not to have a checklist to help you take charge and make the most of the opportunities that 2024 will bring.

 

CFO Checklist for 2024

It can feel incredibly overwhelming with all there is to do in so little time. Not sure where to begin and what needs your attention? How do you prepare for the rest of the year? This checklist should help you out.

Here are some of the most important things for CFOs to focus on in 2024 (in no particular order):

 

  • Review contracts, pricing, and budgets

Okay, this one is probably the most obvious – take a moment to review your existing contracts and agreements. Have they been met? It’s time to decide whether you want to keep certain contracts and lease agreements going into the next financial year or not. 

Also review the prices of your products and services. Are they in line with market trends and making a profit? Make any adjustments where necessary. And then, start preparing budgets and forecasts while it’s still early in the year.

 

  • Focus on growth through digital transformation to prepare your team for the “future of finance”

As the CFO, it’s very important that you actually engage in boardroom discussions about market expansion, streamlining processes, and digital transformation. Many companies want to and are pushing for transformation, but studies from McKinsey, BCG, KPMG, and Bain & Company show that 70% to 95% of these transformation programs end up failing.

The problem doesn’t seem to be a lack of technology but rather a lack of emphasis on financial understanding and clear business goals, along with slow decision-making by executives. It is your responsibility to go out of your way to search for opportunities to grow the business, cut costs, and improve productivity if you’re serious about building a team that’s ready for the future of finance.

 

  • Stay proactive and vigilant against cyber risks

A data breach is one of the biggest concerns for CFOs as cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated. Malware attacks, especially ransomware, are on the rise. To protect your company:

  • Document your cybersecurity policies
  • Implement multi-factor authentication for accessing company data
  • Encrypt emails and attachments
  • Regularly back up all data to prevent ransomware attacks

It’s also a good idea to conduct comprehensive cybersecurity training for all employees, including phishing awareness campaigns.

 

  • Prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting

More and more executives are feeling pressure to focus on climate action due to increased demands for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting. This might mean your business needs to adopt more advanced reporting methods, but it’s important to have a strong foundation in accounting and controls to make this transition as smooth as possible.

That being said, providing accurate ESG reports is only half the battle. Nearly a third of CFOs are now examining how climate change scenarios could affect financial performance. Use your expertise and forecasting tools to incorporate sustainability into your business strategy, assess risks, and seek out opportunities for growth with sustainable products and solutions.

 

  • Review your assets’ value in the fourth quarter

This is when you should assess both long-term and short-term assets, like accounts receivable and goodwill. You can’t afford to skip this yearly check because it could make your year-end responsibilities much harder than they have to be. Follow the GAAP impairment testing rules and compare the expected benefit or fair value of the assets to their current book value. If an asset’s value has dropped, write it down accordingly.

 

  • Prepare for a surprise audit

There is, of course, no guarantee your company will be selected for an audit, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. So, first off – take a look at your profit and loss statement to find areas where you can improve. Start with the basics: Does your company have clear accounting systems and financial processes in place? If not, it’s time to get organized.

A big part of being audit-ready is also to make sure your company is sales tax compliant. It can be very hard to keep up with state and local tax laws because they’re always changing. Almost every state and local jurisdiction has its own set of regulations to follow, and it’s not easy to manually calculate taxes for each sale while keeping track of all these different regulations. 

Think about investing in sales tax software to take care of all of this for you, while you focus on activities that actually bring in revenue.

 

Stay ahead of regulatory changes with Complyt

CFOs already have enough on their plate. Let Complyt help you tick off #6 on this checklist by automating your sales tax processes and ensuring timely and accurate reporting and filing.

Complyt’s sales tax solution can make your job so much easier by automatically staying up-to-date with any changes in tax laws across different states and jurisdictions. This means less stress for you and fewer chances of unintentionally violating the latest tax regulations and potentially saving you from fines.

Book your free demo today.

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