32% of Luxembourg chief financial officers (CFOs) prioritise expense reduction in response to inflation and tightening monetary conditions, according to a study released by Yooz and Dogfinance.
This focus surpasses slowing down investment projects (9%) or freezing salary scales (6%).
Impact of remote work
The study shows that 40% of surveyed CFOs in Luxembourg indicate a significant impact on their invoice processing capacity due to the adoption of remote or hybrid work arrangements.
The transition to flexible work styles presents both opportunities and challenges in financial operations, according to the report.
Embracing new technologies
Nearly a quarter of the surveyed CFOs are considering the adoption of new technologies as a means to reduce costs.
Cybersecurity (32%), big data analytics (28%) and mobility solutions (26%) are among the top technology investments identified by CFOs for their finance departments in 2023.
Notably, there is a growing interest in artificial intelligence (26%) and data visualisation software (25%), reflecting the evolving landscape of financial technology.
Luxembourg companies leading in automation
Luxembourg companies are at the forefront of automation efforts, with only 6% reporting that they have not yet automated their accounts payable processes.
In contrast, France and Spain (18% each), and the United Kingdom (14%) still have a relatively high percentage of organisations relying on manual methods.
Automation streamlines invoice management, addressing challenges related to complexity, supplier payment delays (42%), lengthy processing time (38%) and high costs (33%).
Despite the challenges, a majority of Luxembourg CFOs recognise the diverse benefits that automation brings to their organisations.
Key advantages identified by CFOs include more reliable data (26%), compliance-enhancing procedures (26%), technologies that attract new talent (24%), freed time for strategic activities (22%) and opportunities for skill development (20%).
Retaining talent is a major concern for half of Luxembourg companies, leading CFOs to adopt flexible (36%) or remote (30%) work arrangements to attract and retain accounting professionals.
Moreover, the role of the modern CFO has expanded beyond traditional financial responsibilities, now encompassing problem-solving (34%), adaptability (32%), talent recruitment (30%) and consideration of environmental, social and governance criteria (26%).
The other countries surveyed were Belgium, South Africa, Switzerland, the UAE and US.
The study was commissioned by Yooz, a company that specialises in providing cloud-based accounts payable automation solutions, such as invoice capture, data extraction and automated approval workflows, and Dogfinance, a networking group for finance professionals. It was released on 13 July and is available (in French) here.