Due to the increased importance of the Chief Financial Officer or CFO role, it has become a job that has taken on a higher complexity. Has this change affected you in some way? Do you currently have the role of a Strategic CFO or a Tactical CFO? Do you always have your eyes on the past, or can you look to the future like a General Manager?
The days of CFOs being shoehorned into financial monitors and number cruncher roles are over. Now we have to tackle the ever changing landscape of business and all of the challenges that come with it while also providing the corporation with our vast supply of knowledge.
The expert level of master has been given to CFOs by force, as they are tasked with fostering success and creating a working corporate strategy in a business environment that is full of impacts produced by technology, customer base changes, and fierce worldwide competition. The CFO must have involvement in value creation and decision making in order to do this. The ability to decipher business metrics as they happen while having the mind of a General Manager is something that can only be found in a Strategic CFO. The Strategic CFO will aid the CEO or Chief Executive Officer, and keep the corporation on the track to success.
Leveraging data capabilities and technologies, creating top notch finance teams, and improving communication and leadership skills are all actions that a Strategic CFO will take. These actions make it easier to have a closer working relationship with the CEO than ever before while delivering information that is historically accurate and forward looking and making it possible for business expectations to be met by CFOs. Shareholders and the Board of Directors desire frequent communication and detailed information from the Strategic CFO.
The plate of a CFO is always full, as they have to keep driving the strategy of the corporation while taking on the usual financial responsibilities and maintaining a proper balance between their time and priority demands. No less than 25% of your own Strategic CFO time should be dedicated to creating strategic plans that will be driven.
Becoming A Strategic CFO In Five Steps
- Learning curve acceleration through the use of peer networking. Any challenges that you may face as a CFO have been experienced by other CFOs working in the same industry and other industries. You can deal with these issues better if you have the strength of a peer network behind you. Always remember that others may know something that you don’t know.
2.Do a thorough analysis on customer and product-line profitability, along with profit trends. Taking a look at what customers use your products can help you find ways to make your bottom-line even better. Weigh the positives and negatives of using alternative distribution channels and see what can be done in house and what can be outs
- Figure out which businesses are ready to be harvested, invested, or left behind and share this information with the CEO. When you learn which resources should be invested, a strategic value can be maintained on a long term basis. Be able to identify which opportunities have a bright future and shift capital towards them.
- Give the CEO recommendations, data, and analysis that will influence strategic decisions after you’ve done a reassessment of existing technologies. This is where data has a huge importance, as vast amounts of data sets are scanned with data analytics to find information that may be useful. Changes to products and the development of new products are directly affected through this data insight.
- Dedicate 25% or more of your time to ensure that strategic plans are created and enacted. There will always be a big demand for the time and priorities of a CFO. Management of regular financial responsibilities will be easier when strategic planning is done, and corporate strategies can be driven at the same time.