7 mins read

In the News

2024 Yooz Survey: Leaders vs. Ledger

by Yooz the 06.10.2024

Leader vs Ledger

Operational Limitations Keep One in Three Finance Professionals from Meeting C-Suite Expectations 


New study from Yooz reveals a significant perception gap between C-suite leaders and their finance teams when it comes to priorities, strategic impact, and overcoming operational barriers. 


Purpose of the Study


In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, finance teams are increasingly expected to play a key role in driving a company’s strategic priorities. Modern business leaders are demanding more from their accounting teams, yet these teams lack the time and resources to deliver due to a mountain of manual, repetitive tasks–leading to escalating frustration and tension with C-suite leaders. 

To understand this misalignment and its impact on organizational success, the AI-based E-invoicing and Purchase-to-Pay (P2P) automation solution Yooz partnered with the third-party survey platform Pollfish on a study designed to identify discrepancies between the views of business leaders and finance teams. The 2024 Yooz Survey: Leaders vs. Ledger was conducted in May 2024 by Pollfish, surveying 600 U.S. business professionals over the age of 18, comprised of 300 C-suite leaders and 300 finance professionals with annual household incomes of at least $50,000. 


Key Findings


The 2024 Yooz Survey: Leaders vs. Ledger survey dives deep into this dynamic, analyzing responses from both business leaders and finance teams to uncover the root causes of frustration on both sides. By exploring the disparities in expectations, the survey sheds light on the urgent need for strategic realignment–most commonly enabled through technology and automation.   

The results expose numerous points of dissonance between leadership expectations and on-the-ground realities faced by finance teams. While the C-suite wants more strategic guidance from finance, teams feel bogged down by manual, repetitive tasks. And although leaders recognize the strategic voice finance can provide, finance professionals don't feel like their impact is realized or acknowledged by leaders. But both groups were strongly aligned on the solution: that automation holds the key to unlocking finance's strategic potential. 


  • While C-suite executives expect finance teams to dedicate a significant portion of their time to strategic initiatives, only 33% of finance teams reported being able to meet this expectation, underscoring a major gap between leadership's expectations and the operational reality. 
  • Finance teams feel their ability to provide strategic value is hindered by a lack of recognition and understanding of the daily operational challenges they face, with 77% reporting frustration with leadership’s lack of operational awareness. 
  • There’s a discrepancy in the perceived primary role of finance teams; business leaders voiced the expectation of receiving strategic guidance from finance, whereas finance teams believe they are primarily tasked with transaction processing. 
  • While the majority of respondents spend at least 4 hours per week chasing down documents and approvals, nearly a quarter of them said they spend 7 or more hours per week on this task. 
  • While 64% of C-suite executives believe finance teams are effective in influencing strategic decisions, only 50% of finance professionals feel that their strategic input has a real impact, highlighting a disconnect in perceptions within the organization. 
  • Both C-suite and finance teams see automation as a critical solution, with a strong consensus that embracing technology to automate repetitive tasks would greatly enhance the strategic capabilities of finance teams. 

Expectations vs. Reality in Strategic Engagement 


Despite C-suite leaders expecting finance teams to spend more than half of their time on strategic tasks, only a third of these teams actually achieve this, highlighting a significant gap between expectations and reality. Moreover, while leaders perceive finance teams as reasonably effective in influencing strategy, only half of finance professionals share this view. This mismatch not only underscores the disconnect in perceived roles but also emphasizes the need for clearer communication and recognition of finance’s contributions. 


  •  Nearly half of C-suite leaders think that 50% or more of the finance team’s time should be dedicated to strategic tasks instead of operational, but realistically only one in three finance pros reported that they meet this benchmark. 
  • 64% of C-suite leaders see their finance teams as somewhat or very effective in strategic decision-making, with 35% of them rating finance teams as key players in strategic decision-making. In contrast, half of finance professionals feel that they have not made a strategic impact, highlighting a wide perception gap. 


Frustration Is Building Between Leadership and Finance 

Both C-suite leaders and finance teams express significant dissatisfaction with each other, rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding of the administrative challenges faced day to day. This frustration is compounded by the pressure to perform strategically without adequate resources or recognition of the operational constraints, creating escalating tension that could place the long-term effectiveness of the organization at risk. 


  • 67% of C-suite executives are frustrated by the lack of strategic input from finance teams, which they perceive as a shortfall in their role.
  •  Conversely, 77% of finance professionals report feeling that their potential to contribute strategically is significantly hindered by a lack of acknowledgment of the extensive operational pressures they face daily.


Priorities Are Misaligned 


The disconnect continues, leading to a cycle of frustration and inefficiency, as finance teams are unaware of or unable to address the priorities and standards set by leadership while simultaneously feeling undervalued for the critical operational support they provide. 


  • Business leaders prioritize strategic guidance and business planning, expecting finance teams to contribute high-level insights that drive decision-making. 
  • On the flip side, finance teams believe leaders want them focused on transaction processing and operational tasks. 




Technology-Powered Automation Is Key To Unlocking Strategic Impact 


One area where C-suite leaders and finance teams see eye to eye, is in the belief that automation is underutilized in the organization. A large majority of both groups see manual, repetitive tasks as a barrier to making a strategic impact.  

Both groups agreed on the solution: the path forward is marked by technological and automation advancements rather than increasing manpower.  


  • Over 85% of both C-suite and finance teams believe manual tasks significantly limit strategic impact, with manual data entry identified by both C-suite (54%) and finance teams (57%) as the top barrier teams face. 



  • A quarter of finance teams reported that they spent 7 or more hours per week chasing down documents and approvals. These are critical hours that could be spent on higher-value items, like strategy and planning.  
  • Automation was highlighted as critical by both groups, with 87% of C-suite and 88% of finance teams emphasizing its importance for strategic engagement. This is because automation streamlines routine tasks, reduces errors, frees up time for more strategic activities, and enables more accurate and timely data analysis, enhancing decision-making capabilities. 


  • The majority of both groups agreed that improving processes, upgrading technology and utilizing automation would be more effective than simply hiring more staff. Automation supports team scalability and efficiency, allowing teams to focus on innovation and long-term planning rather than being bogged down by repetitive processes. 
    The message is clear: as organizations invest in automation platforms, finance will be empowered to shed operational limitations and embrace the strategic role mandated by the C-suite. 

    Yooz’s CEO Laurent Charpentier explained, “Our study illuminates the harsh truth that misalignment between executives and finance teams is standing in the way of organizational success. By embracing automation, teams can finally move beyond manual busywork and leverage technology to enable strategic decision making and direction that executives expect and need to drive the business forward.”