Armanino Press Release
Press Release

Armanino Releases Annual CFO Evolution Survey Report - 2018

December 18, 2018

SAN RAMON, Calif. (Dec. 18, 2018) Armanino LLP, one of the top 25 largest accounting and business consulting firms in the U.S., today announced the findings of its annual CFO Evolution Benchmark Survey that continues to dig deeper into finding what qualities create and drive a transformational CFO. The annual survey found specific insight on two key qualities, innovation and influence, along with a surprising new area of focus essential to transformational investment: culture.

The survey found best-in-class CFOs are working beyond traditional bookkeeping and budget building, and instead are embracing market changes in order to stay ahead of a “VUCA” world – a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. This flexibility is necessary in order to lead a company through a transformation of the operating model that meets the needs of a changing market.

For the first time, a CFO’s ability to impact their company culture has been identified as an imperative business focus needed to spearhead future success. Culture is one of three areas of focus, which also include operations and technology. Survey findings reveal culture to be a trait that attracts the type of employee who can adapt and prioritize in the evolving business climate. This kind of firm-first behavior is natural when employees share the same values.

“We’re learning that capturing the hearts and minds of their employees by reshaping the company’s culture is critical to the sustained performance of the organization,” said Matt Armanino, COO of Armanino and founder of the CFO Evolution.

Best-in-class CFOs are manifesting the traits of influence and innovation as they focus on day-to-day operations, technological advances and company culture. They agree that becoming an influencer and innovator is essential to the transformational model. CFOs who are having a big impact as an influencer are three times more likely to be leading change initiatives. The best-in-class influencers are twice as likely to be reorganizing their company’s infrastructure in a way that directly supports the CEO’s vision for transformation.

The 2018 results revealed compelling traits shared among influencers and innovators. Influencers commonly use communication, collaboration and building effective business cases to shape their future organizations, while innovators align with having the right mindset, the ability to successfully network and consistently embracing technology to drive change.

An innovative mindset is grounded in experimentation. This year, 70 percent of survey respondents identified technology as a top asset for their innovation toolbox as a catalyst to achieve culture change. All best-in-class CFOs have budgeted, implemented or evaluated analytics as a technology key, due to it being the No. 1 sought-after skillset needed to thrive in a VUCA world.

Companies that manage this change well are nearly three times more likely to outperform their peers and six times more likely to meet or exceed their objectives. The CFO Evolution survey found that best-in-class respondents are already excelling within this new CFO Evolution 2.0 framework.

“Our surveys continue to dig deeper at what qualities and focuses make up a transformational CFO,” Armanino said. “They are finance leaders who look beyond the numbers and are true visionaries who can prepare their company for the business future by taking the initiative and wearing many hats.”

Learn more about the CFO Evolution 2.0 framework and the characteristics that define a best-in-class transformational CFO.

December 18, 2018

About ArmaninoLLP

Armanino LLP ( is one of the 25 largest independent accounting and business consulting firms in the nation. Armanino provides an integrated set of audit, tax, business management, consulting and technology solutions to companies in the U.S. and globally. The firm helps clients adapt and change in every stage of business, from startup through rapid growth to the sale of a company. Armanino emphasizes smart technology, leading a cloud revolution of financial, operational, sales and compliance tools that are transforming the way companies do business. Armanino is an independent member firm of Moore North America Inc. (MNA), which is itself a regional member of Moore Global Network Limited (MGNL), one of the world's major accounting and consulting membership organizations. All the firms associated with MNA and MGNL are independent entities, owned and managed in each location. Their membership in, or association with, MNA or MGNL should not be construed as constituting or implying any partnership between them. In addition to its core consulting and accounting practices, Armanino operates its division, AMF Media Group (, a media and communications services agency. Its affiliate, Intersect Capital ( is an independent financial planning, wealth and lifestyle management firm.

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