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The Rise of the New CFO - NYC CFO Roundtable Recap | Part 1: Roles & Responsibilities

In times of rapid digital transformation and increased market competition, CFOs have evolved beyond traditional role descriptions to take on a broader spectrum of responsibilities. No longer confined to numbers and spreadsheets, modern CFOs are emerging as strategic architects, catalysts for innovation, and integral partners in steering companies towards sustainable growth.

To understand this shift in the CFO role, we invited top CFOs and VP Finance from leading technology companies in New York for an open roundtable discussion.

In this recap, we delve into the discussions and key takeaways from the roundtable, highlighting the current challenges, strategies, and outlooks that define today's CFOs. From navigating digital transformation to balancing profit goals with cost-cutting pressures, and reimagining pricing strategies, the roundtable explored the many faces of modern financial leadership.

The Rise of the New CFO

CFOs are not just numbers-driven executives but also integral players in shaping the company's overall business strategy.

Data Points:

  • 43% of finance leaders say establishing finance as a partner to the business is one of the top three priorities for the finance function in the next 12 months.

  • Through 2025, more than 40% of finance roles will be either new or significantly reshaped due to finance technology.

  •  35% of CFOs believe human relations, emotional intelligence, communication skills, leadership, and charisma are essential skills for the position.


  • More CFOs are assuming CEO responsibilities, acting as business partners, and owning critical data.

  • CFOs state they are becoming strategic allies, shaping the company's overall strategy and growth trajectory.

  • Most CFO's think their presence as a General Managers alongside the CEO fosters collaboration and decision-making.

“The CEO is no longer lonely with the CFO by their side, often taking on additional responsibilities as General Managers”.

- VP Finance, Growth Startup 

Balancing Profit Goals and Cost Cutting

In a market increasingly focused on profitable growth, CFOs are tasked with optimizing spending and driving efficiency across the organization.

Data Points:

  • 89% of CFOs say striking the right balance between cost cutting and investing for growth is a top challenge to transformation.

  • For 59% of CFOs, reducing costs is a top priority, up from 38% a year ago.

  • 38% of CFOs said they were making targeted cutbacks and 15% are slowing down investments.


  • CFOs are optimizing spending and driving efficiency in pursuit of profitable growth.

  • Some CFOs highlighted the shift towards EBITDA-focused strategies and the critical role of cultural change in achieving financial sustainability.

  • The CFOs emphasized the importance of investing in the right areas at the right time while managing investor expectations.

Goals for 2024

Looking ahead, CFOs are strategizing ways to enhance efficiency and scale their operations. 

Data Points: 

  • 51% of CFOs are prioritizing recruitment in areas crucial for organizational growth.

  •  82% of CFOs said that increasing profits is one of their most important objectives. 


  • Most CFOs agree that streamlining operations and enhancing efficiency are key objectives.

  • Some CFOs believe that in order to gain Enterprise customers, they need to be more efficient with their smaller customers.

  • A cautious approach to investment is observed in finding product-market fit (PMF).

Innovations in Pricing and Packaging

Adapting to changing market dynamics, CFOs are exploring innovative pricing and packaging strategies to remain competitive.

Data Points: 

  • 24% of CFOs are focused on new revenue streams — more than any other strategic priority.
  • 46% of SaaS companies combine subscriptions with usage-based billing in their pricing strategy.


  • CFOs explore innovative pricing and packaging strategies to remain competitive.

  • Strategies include unbundling features and enhancing product capabilities.

  • Some CFOs emphasized the importance of aligning pricing strategies with market realities.