Becoming the catalyst: How finance functions are driving shareholder value

Jun 2024

In a recent PwC Pulse Survey, CFOs across industries highlighted the most critical factors impacting their businesses: elevated inflation, higher interest rates and geopolitical uncertainty. Despite the magnitude of these obstacles, there was a general consensus amongst CFOs that they could face these headwinds and meet their long- term growth goals. How do CFOs maintain this confidence in the face of such vast and significant challenges?

As finance organisations evolve their capabilities from stewards of the bottom line to drivers of it, they wield greater authority in influencing the strategic agenda of the business and helping preserve and grow shareholder value. This evolution in capability is driven through finance transformation programs across the maturity spectrum, ranging from cloud system adoption and enabling automation, to programs that harness the exploding advancements in AI and other data technologies to deliver outstanding efficiencies, insights and real-time decision support.

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For finance, creating value is straightforward: produce insights that define and help deliver business strategies that increase shareholder returns. And while leading finance functions employ state-of-the-art tools and techniques to drive value, most finance functions are still challenged to hone the fundamentals. A top priority of 43% of surveyed CFOs is establishing finance as a business partner.

The 2024 Finance Effectiveness Benchmark study serves to examine how companies — both industry leaders and enterprises that reside outside the top quartile — are putting finance transformation at the core of their broader business transformations, and how these investments impact their finance functions’ ability to create value.

The data in this report comes from a biannual benchmarking study of nearly 1,000 companies with $1 billion in revenue or greater from industrialised countries. While the finance functions of many Mainland China and Hong Kong companies may differ from this universe in terms of complexity, operating context or stage of development, we believe the metrics in this report can still provide valuable insights. We hope they will serve as a guide to market trends and offer perspectives on how to plan your finance transformation initiatives. By incorporating these insights into their finance functions, Mainland China and Hong Kong companies can enhance efficiency, streamline processes, develop their talent pool and strengthen their business insights.
The study also allows Mainland China and Hong Kong companies to benchmark themselves against international standards. While direct application of metrics may not always be feasible, they can still help by setting aspirational goals and identifying areas where the finance function may lag behind. By leveraging these insights, companies can drive finance transformation, align with industry trends, strive to optimise their finance function and foster sustainable growth in their respective markets.

Contact us

Edmund Lee

Hong Kong Consulting Leader, PwC Hong Kong

Tel: +[852] 2289 2714

Albert Lo

Hong Kong Financial Services Consulting Leader, PwC China

Tel: +[852] 2289 1925

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