3 November 2023

What will finance look like in 2024?

A piece of paper showing a graph with a tick, with coins and a target surrounding it.

Keep your finance team ahead of the curve with this guide to how the function will develop through 2024.

According to Gartner®, CFOs and their boards are focused on three top concerns: profitable growth (72%), inflation (65%) and balance sheet health (52%). 

'The rise in turnover rates for finance and accounting roles underscores the importance of adaptability' - Rachael King, Editor, The CFO 

Finance departments have been facing many challenges over the past few years. In 2024, we should see them taking a braver approach to new technologies in order to reap some key benefits. Finance teams are becoming a more and more integrated part of the wider organisation, having long since moved beyond simple accounting.  

However, fragmentation is causing issues in a number of finance departments, as are talent gaps. These problems aren’t likely to go anywhere in 2024 without significant changes – they’ve been hovering around for years now.   

Still, when properly invested in, a finance team can help the whole organisation overcome one of the biggest challenges that any company will face going into 2024: rising costs! 

This blog will take a look at how to get things ship shape before it’s too late. 

Retention Retention Retention

Finance and accounting employee turnover increased by 3.3% in 2022, the highest average increase in job functions.

The biggest challenge that finance teams have been facing for the last few years, and will continue to face going into 2024, is talent acquisition and retention.  

Finance relies heavily on some particularly specialised hard skills, but the sector is struggling to bring in new blood. The world has something of a stereotypical view of finance professionals as accountants with big ledgers, who were largely just responsible for data entry. But for many years now, finance has been growing into a more systems based function That means finance professionals need a combination of skills that are getting harder and harder to find.  As a result, there’s a huge fight for employees. 

“I think it'll be a big problem over the next few years because as people start to say ‘I desperately need this, I'll pay extra for it’ and that does create a bit of a clamour,” notes Richard Mellors, Principle Product Manager at MHR. “Now you're always going to pay a premium for good people, but that's now going through the roof and it's not about finding new people. It’s about holding onto who you’ve got.” 

But how exactly are you supposed to retain staff? The exact fix will vary massively based on your business. It could mean hybrid working, but that won’t work for everyone. Salary increases can also help, but Mellors notes, “it isn't always money. Money's not always the driver.” Talking to your existing employees to get the lay of the land can be hugely helpful. 

“Becoming less process driven can help pull in new talent and improve efficiency,” adds Phillip Edwards, Finance Director at MHR. “Otherwise, finance professionals get tripped up on the deadlines, getting trapped in a budget cycle that becomes too heavy. They're doing a lot of heavy leg work or they're getting into an audit and they can't get through it. They’re chained to a desk producing a report that will only be seen by a few different people!” 

As we move into 2024, competition for top finance talent will hot up. Employers should consider how they plan to attract, develop and retain these employees. 

Final thoughts

Finance needs to evolve or it can become stagnant and slow. As we move into 2024, we’re going to see even more developments, and by rising to meet them you’ll stay ahead of the competition. 

If you want more details, download our full guide below. It covers even more, including how finance will help organisations overcome rising costs as well as all about autonomous finance. 

This blog is part of a wider six part series, all about the challenges and opportunities the changing world of work will have to deal with in the coming year.  

We’ll help you build your full 2024 roadmap, covering HR, payroll, finance, learning, data analytics and tech.  

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Mockup of MHR's Roadmap to 2024

Your Roadmap to 2024

These insights come from our Roadmap to 2024 - spanning across HR, payroll, finance, learning, data analytics and technology. 

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