On January 20, 2016, at The Stockholm School of Economics (SSE), four representatives of the AmCham Sweden Finance Working Committee formed a panel discussion for accounting and economics students on the subject: On my desk, on my mind: The everyday life of a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) in a MNC (Multi-National Corporation.
Some of the challenges that members of AmCham Sweden face in the field of finance are similar from company to company. "For example, our challenges are developmental issues versus organizational needs," said Ilona Zelentsova of American Express. "We need to have the right people with the right expertise in place. That can be difficult to find, which is something all businesses face."
Other companies and industries have regulations that must be complied with that lead to unique challenges in meeting corporate goals. "Regulation is trying to reduce the sale of our products," said Charles Larkin of Philip Morris International. "However, the loss of income generated from excise taxes is a problem for the regulators. The constant challenge is how to push prices up without losing market share."
"We're trying to build virtual organizations within our company," Ola Grabner of 3M explained to illustrate another point of difference that exists from one organization to another. "For example, we have people based in Sweden who have responsibilities for other areas in Europe. To reach our business goals, we need people who can deliver on the 'whats' as well as the 'hows' of what we're trying to achieve."
"The challenge we have is that governments have a massive problem in trying to cover growing health care costs," Simon Walker of Johnson & Johnson concluded. "There are huge price pressures now that weren't a concern for us in the past. At the same time, the number of finance people who we have to address these challenges is much less than before."