Thought Leadership |

Charting a Path Forward

Top Priorities for CFOs in 2024

By: W. P. Carey Editorial Team

The CFO role has evolved over the years, expanding from its traditional financial focus to a broad range of strategic responsibilities. Today's CFOs wear many hats – from financial planning to compliance and risk management and strategic decision-making, among many others. In an environment marked by rapid technology advancements, market volatility and regulatory changes, CFOs play a crucial role in guiding organizations through challenges to build resilience and maintain profitability.

 

In this blog, we delve into CFOs’ top priorities for 2024, drawing from a recent Gartner survey, and explore how leveraging sale-leasebacks can unlock capital to address these priorities.

A person stands at a crossroads with 3 potential directions to move into.
1. Leading Transformation Efforts

Embracing technology and automation remains a top challenge for organizations. Recognizing the crucial role of technology in enhancing business efficiency, compliance and competitiveness, CFOs will focus more on leading digital transformation efforts, both within their departments and across the entire organization.

CFOs are integral to driving business transformation, especially in evaluating the best initiatives to adopt and their contribution to the bottom line. As companies scale, continuous implementation of emerging technologies becomes essential for efficient growth management.

2. Evaluating or Improving Financial Strategy 

Managing the finance function is a core responsibility for CFOs, and is vital for business growth and continuity. With the current economic and market volatility, CFOs will focus more on evaluating and improving the finance function's strategy.

A robust financial strategy is essential to meet short and long-term financial goals and ensure positive business outcomes. It offers a better understanding of the company's present financial situation, assesses potential risks, outlines income goals, identifies competencies, investment strategies and funding options necessary to realize those goals.

3. Improving Finance Metrics, Insights and Storytelling 

Understanding financial metrics and insights is crucial not just for CFOs, but the whole organization. As such, leveraging data visualization can help simplify complex concepts, streamline reporting and foster collaboration across the organization. This can enable companies to tell stories and drive better understanding of their messaging among core audiences, including investors, which can potentially boost valuation. CFOs will prioritize improving finance metrics, insights and storytelling to achieve these and other benefits.

4. Leading Change Management Efforts

CFOs will also prioritize leading change management in 2024. Resistance to change among employees is a common challenge often triggered by factors like fear of the unknown, lack of trust in leadership or loss of control. Effective change management is thus vital to organizational success. Strategic leadership promotes consistency, builds employee trust, enhances cost management and enables organizational agility, among other benefits.

5. Optimizing Costs

Optimizing costs is yet another area of precedence for CFOs in 2024. Strategic cost management is essential for the realization of organizational goals, especially in volatile times. Possible initiatives include, promoting cost-consciousness across the organization to reduce operating costs, adopting new technology and automation to address inefficiencies, embracing data-driven decision-making and improving vendor management.

The Key to Make it All Happen

The success of an organization's financial initiatives hinge on the availability of capital. Particularly in an uncertain rate environment, access to liquidity is essential in providing companies with flexibility and growth capital. For companies that own their real estate, sale-leasebacks offer an alternative capital source to support CFOs’ 2024 priorities. These transactions enable companies to access immediate funds while maintaining operational control of their facilities.

However, several considerations must be addressed to determine the suitability of a sale-leaseback for a business. First, sale-leasebacks only makes sense if the company owns its real estate. Additionally, a strong credit profile is necessary and a willingness to commit to a long-term lease is essential.

The W. P. Carey Solution

With all the conditions met, a sale-leaseback is a handy strategy that CFOs can explore to raise the much-needed capital to support the above priorities. At W. P. Carey, we have helped many companies in North America and Europe leverage this financing solution for over 50 years.
 

If you're considering unlocking capital for your operations this year through a sale-leaseback, contact W. P. Carey today!

 

You May Also Like:

Photo of building blocks that spell REIT

The Power of REITs

Inflation, interest rate volatility and market dynamics have shaken the foundations of standard investment models. As a result, investors are looking for avenues that promise long-term growth and...
Photo of Las Vegas convention center

Countdown to ICSC Las Vegas

ICSC Las Vegas, one of the largest tradeshows for the retail industry, is on the horizon with an expected 30,000 attendees eager to network and reconnect face-to-face with industry leaders and peers....
Photo of shopping cart in aisle in grocery store
Rising interest rates, increased cap rates, and sluggish deal activity created changes in the retail market over the past couple of years. Indeed, the bid-ask spread left many retail net lease deals...