Show them the money
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Salary is the top factor young accountants look for.
May 21, 2024 View Online | Sign Up

CFO Brew


Hello, and welcome to Tuesday. On this day in 1901, Connecticut enacted its first-ever speed-limit law. Sure will come in handy this weekend as people race off on their three-day holiday weekend plans.

In this issue:

CPA crunch

CFO shuffle

Ramping up

Natasha Piñon, Courtney Vien, Alex Zank


Top dollar

Accounting talent shortage Pch-Vector/Getty Images

It’s the money, honey: 60% of accounting students and young accounting talent say salary is the top factor they look for in a job or profession. That’s according to a survey of accounting students, recent grads, and accounting professionals under 35, mainly located in the US, conducted last year by the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS). Job security came in as the second-most-prized factor, followed closely by work-life balance and opportunities for advancement.

CPAs still valued: Fewer people have been sitting for the CPA exam in recent years. According to the AICPA’s 2023 Trends report, the number of unique CPA exam candidates dropped sharply last year to 67,336 from its 2021 high of 102,291.

It’s not because accounting majors and grads don’t value the CPA credential any more, the ICPAS survey found. The vast majority said having a CPA was either valuable or very valuable in the marketplace. They also see the credential as a pathway to the career benefits they said they valued most: Upwards of three-quarters said it opened doors with employers and led to greater job security and higher earning potential. Two-thirds agreed the credential was worth the time and cost it takes to attain.

Under pressure: Why, then, aren’t they sitting for the CPA exam? Many of them say they lack the time; 43% of respondents named not having time to study, for either professional or personal reasons, as either their top challenge when pursuing licensure or the reason why they chose not to pursue it. Another 25% said that workplace time commitments, in particular, were their biggest stumbling block.

For more on recruiting young talent, click here.CV



From growing pains to financial gains


How can you grow your business while keeping costs in check? It’s a million-dollar Q, which is why it’s such a popular one.

For more insight, tune into a discussion between Adam Swiecicki and Dan Perez on June 4 for a CFO fireside chat.

Adam Swiecicki is the CFO at Rippling and former CFO at Brex, giving him experience at two of the fastest growing startups in Silicon Valley. Dan Perez is Head of Finance at Edge Delta and the former head of FP&A at Mode, which exited for $200m last year.

Hear their stories and advice on how to:

  • Plan top line and costs in an uncertain environment.
  • Approach fundraising (including info on when and how to raise).
  • Set up the right tools and processes to control spend.

Register for the fireside chat.


Turnover blues

CFO turnover Volha Maksimava/Getty Images

You may see more public-company CFOs polishing their LinkedIn profiles these days.

CFO turnover in public companies worldwide has reached its highest level since 2022, according to the Russell Reynolds Global CFO Turnover Index. This quarter, it stood at 4.5%. Eighty-two new CFOs were appointed in Q1 2024 at the public companies listed on the 12 stock indexes Russell Reynolds examined, which include the S&P, the Nikkei 225, the FTSE 100, and the DAX30.

The trend was even more pronounced within the S&P. There, this year’s Q1 CFO turnover reached 5.8%—the highest it’s been since Q1 of 2021, when it was 6.4%.

The findings suggest that organizations are less reluctant to replace CFOs, even amid economic volatility, Russell Reynolds said.

Start of a new trend? CFO turnover worldwide rose steadily for the first three quarters of 2023, Russell Reynolds data shows, rising from 3% in Q4 of 2022 to 4.2% in Q3 of 2023. It dropped to 3.7% in Q4 of 2023—but according to the Russell Reynolds data, since 2019, companies have been less likely to replace CFOs in the last quarter of the year than in the other three. This quarter, global turnover reached 4.5%, continuing the rise seen through most of 2023.

Click here for more on global CFO turnover.CV



Merger mania

M&A increase EY Skynesher/Getty Images

EY predicts US M&A activity could roll back the clock to 2019 this year with an expected 20% increase in corporate deal volume and 16% uptick in private equity (PE) deal volume.

If its corporate volume prediction holds true, “this would represent a return to near pre-pandemic levels of activity,” the accounting giant wrote in its latest “Deal Barometer” report. The predicted increase would put 2024 deal activity at about 4% below the average observed between 2017 and 2019.

This year started off strong, as Q1 saw a 36% in global deal value and “a striking uptick” in companies’ intentions to divest either an asset or a part of its business, according to EY.

The M&A space has been volatile in recent years. Deals hit record levels in 2021 and early 2022 amid low inflation, low interest rates, a strong economy, and healthy company profits, EY noted. Then activity fell off in 2022 thanks to uncertain economic and geopolitical conditions along with Federal Reserve actions to combat high inflation. Last year saw a 17% decrease in corporate and 15% contraction in PE M&A deal volume.

Looking further ahead, EY expects M&A activity to remain strong next year. It expects corporate deal volume to increase at the same pace of 20% and PE volume to increase at a moderated 10% in 2025.

Click here to continue reading.AZ



Oracle NetSuite

One productive partner$hip. As CFO, you may wanna increase your tech spend, but is your CIO aligned? Oracle NetSuite put together this free business guide to help bypass finance x IT hurdles. Check out the 2024 spending plans of top CFOs + five focus areas for cultivating a winning CFO/CIO partnership.


market forces chart Francis Scialabba

Today’s top finance reads.

Stat: 5,000. That’s how many frequently bought items Target will lower the prices for over the course of the summer. “We know consumers are feeling pressured to make the most of their budget, and Target is here to help them save more,” Rick Gomez, EVP and chief food, essentials and beauty officer at Target, said in a statement. (CNBC)

Quote: “This restructuring is the best path forward for Red Lobster. It allows us to address several financial and operational challenges and emerge stronger and re-focused on our growth.”—Red Lobster CEO Jonathan Tibus on the company’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which he blamed on “a difficult macroeconomic environment, a bloated and underperforming restaurant footprint, failed or ill-advised strategic initiatives, and increased competition within the restaurant industry.” (AP News)

Read: Smells like teen spirit—literally. Teen boys are into high-end cologne all of a sudden, and, predictably, TikTok plays a big role here. (the New York Times)

Grow $mart: Register for Rippling’s CFO fireside chat on June 4 to learn how to control spend and plan costs in today’s uncertain environment. Get tips on how to access capital, control costs, and manage risk.*

*A message from our sponsor.


Discover top FP&A tools

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