The role of today’s chief financial officer (CFO) is more complex than ever. CFOs are managing people, systems and technology infrastructure in the air of intense regulatory scrutiny and changing economic conditions. They are driving or adapting to strategic shifts in their companies’ business models. And as always, they are ensuring that the organization performs its core financial, accounting and reporting duties effectively and efficiently. As the role continues to expand and evolve, it’s no wonder many financial leaders are frustrated by the ever-increasing demands on their time and resources.

The 5 Deloitte thought leadership reports listed herein provide a comprehensive take on the major trends and aspects affecting CFOs in the region and globally.

1. 2013 Q3 Global CFO signals: positively contagious (Deloitte, November 2013)

If positive sentiments are contagious, CFOs have caught the fever. In this edition of Global CFO Signals, finance executives worldwide seem to be embracing recovery and setting their sights on expansion, despite continued economic hiccups. In fact, CFOs in many of the 17 countries and regions reporting share not only increased optimism this quarter, but also increased action. The trend is not universal, of course. Still, overall, CFOs seem to be moving forward undeterred; http://bit.ly/19AgcJD

2. Graduating up the value chain: China’s overseas revival (Deloitte, November, 2013)

Chinese outbound M&A investments increased over the first half of 2013 as local investors became increasingly confident about overseas prospects in the new economic normal, with Chinese investors continuing to focus on acquiring overseas Energy & Resources assets while also making forays into foreign Consumer Business industries. These trends, as well as many others, are examined in detail in the fifth edition of Deloitte China’s annual outbound M&A report attached; http://bit.ly/1gdBvsR

3. The case for vetting global business partners (Deloitte, October 2013)

Conducting due diligence on international business partners has become a leading practice for companies—and for CFOs—operating in global jurisdictions. There are actually multiple factors driving the need for better compliance. The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), UK Bribery Act, and multinational agreements, for example, oblige companies to “know” their foreign counterparts. What seems clear is that companies will be expected to conduct a deeper, more systematic investigation of potential international business partners, and CFOs and others overseeing risk management can spearhead that effort by establishing a due diligence process that involves collecting information from the business partner, verifying the data, and following up on identified red flags; http://bit.ly/15SB0tY

4. Bridging the gap in M&As: Are CFOs and boards aligned? (Deloitte, September 2013)

Effective merger and acquisition (M&A) decisions depend upon strong collaboration and communication between the board and CFOs – especially if both parties are focused on creating value by taking strategic risks. But are CFOs and board members aligned as it relates to risk management and value creation in M&A activities? Deloitte, in association with Corporate Board Member magazine, surveyed corporate directors and CFOs from public companies with revenue of $500 million and above, to compare, contrast, and analyze their views on M&A and risk; http://bit.ly/13jnWh8

5. Is the Cloud within your reach?  (Deloitte, July 2013)

Technology decision-makers, notably CFOs and CIOs, are facing the reality that their organization’s computing technology and data will likely be “in the cloud.” In fact, with the cloud market expected to grow from $40.7 billion in 2011 to $241 billion in 2020, businesses will likely soon grapple with the decision of what to move to the cloud, when to move it, and how to transition from an on-premises computing technology environment to a cloud computing technology environment; http://bit.ly/13axx8P