No longer just a master of bookkeeping, the Chief Financial Officer is consistently evolving and gaining respect in the business world. Long touted as the ultimate manager of finance in the organization, the CFO in recent years has become a strategic leader thanks to technology and consistent need for timely, insightful information.
Thanks to Concur, the Travel and Expense Solution, we share with you our insight on their article about the changing roles of the chief financial officer.
Today’s CFO—Changing Roles in the Organization
It wasn’t so long ago that CFOs kept a low profile in the enterprise – but that isn’t the case today. As transparency and compliance become increasingly important, the CFO role is expanding in new and exciting ways. Cutting-edge tools and technologies allow CFOs to showcase skills they had all along, enabling them to take a more visible, vocal role in the success of an organization.
Let’s take a closer look at four key areas where the role has evolved, and what today’s organizations expect from their CFO.
Works closely with the CEO to shape both culture and policy
As the person closest to the CEO, the CFO has a mandate to provide insight grounded in deep understanding of how every action will affect the business. She or he recognizes the important role of company culture in reaching goals and helps the CEO to build an environment where people and ideas can thrive.
Key Skills: Ability to Effectively Coach and Mentor Others, Collaborative, Proactive
Provides ongoing strategic guidance around the future of the organization.
An intrinsic part of the CFO’s job is to accurately forecast an organization’s next steps, using data analysis to help guide the company forward. CFOs can say goodbye to caution and embrace the rapidly changing business landscape. According to Forbes, a successful CFO is “fearless, forward-thinking, and full of ideas.”
Key Skills: Strategic Minded, Analytical, Forward Thinking, Skilled in Communication
Identifies risks and opportunities in the context of current legal and economic realities.
Risk is not a new topic for CFOs, but the way they approach it is evolving. As CFOs are given a broader range of tools, they’re drawing on a wealth of knowledge to optimize their role. They aren’t just managing problems as they arise – rather, they’re anticipating them and facing them head on. Make no mistake: this is a key leadership role.
Key Skills: Multi-disciplined, Anticipatory, Honesty, Ability to Make Decisions
Creates strategies that foster accountability and maintain compliance
As a leader, the modern CFO understands how the importance of accountability and communication. They realize that compliance isn’t a nice-to-have – and they take an active role in maintaining and promoting it. Their place is alongside the CEO as a sounding board, strategist, and enforcer.
Key Skills: Solid understanding of GAAP and corporate taxes but not a technician, Technologically Advanced
Increasing Value of the CFO
It’s exciting to watch CFOs step into bigger, more prominent roles. In the words of David McCann: “There may be virtually no end to CFOs’ ability to add value, particularly because data-analytics capabilities promise to keep growing more sophisticated.”
Big picture ideals, big data, and big minds; the important factors in CFO success. As the CFO continues to evolve, we look to share with this individual these resources to increase influence in the C-Suite:
- Modern Accounting for Today’s CFO
- 35 Roles Every CFO Needs to Ask about ERP in the Cloud
- Changing the Game for Finance: Improving Roles of the CFO
At Brittenford Systems, we care about helping the Chief Financial officer make the most of his or her role. Providing services to mid-market businesses across the country, we provide the tools that allow you to make informed decisions quickly. We welcome you to learn more about speeding up your data-backed decision making process by learning about ReQlogic, ExpenseConnect for GP, and by contacting us to learn more about implementing the right solution.