The Crucial Role of the CFO and Key Skills They Need Today

Posted by Angelica Garcia
Mar 13, 2024
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CFOs’ role is not like any other position, as they are in-charge of overseeing the financial well-being of an entire firm.  

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As organizations grow and the industry evolves due to changes in regulations and technologies, it becomes crucial for modern CFOs to acquire and develop new skills to keep up with their evolving roles and responsibilities. 


In this blog, we will shed light on the importance of CFOs in a company and discuss the important skills they need to acquire today. 


Understanding the Changing Role of CFOs

As mentioned above, CFOs hold a prominent position within an organization. In this case, they can easily relate to the saying, “The higher position, the bigger responsibility” 


However, in a survey by NetSuite, 38% of CFOs revealed that they are struggling to manage their workload and consider it as their biggest challenge. In fact, over half of CFOs (54%) admitted to having 11 to 15 major day-to-day responsibilities. 


Traditionally, CFOs are responsible for providing the strategic direction of the company and managing its financial aspects such as budgeting, auditing, and reporting. Today, they are also expected to stay on top of all the recent developments in data analytics and technology to properly manage forecasting and predictive insights.  


So, with more and increased responsibilities than they can already handle, CFOs must develop essential skills to remain effective in their respective fields.   


The Important Skills that CFOs Needed Today 

To better excel and succeed in their roles, CFOs will need to acquire several skills in 2024. Here are the key skills they should focus on:


1. Strategic Mindset  

Having a strategic mindset is important for CFOs today. Aside from focusing on the company’s financial figures and how financial decisions align with their organization's long-term goals, they must also analyze market trends, and identify opportunities that drive and support the growth of the organization.  


READ: CFO’s Guide to Strategic Decision-Making 


2. Leadership Skills  

As someone who holds an executive position, a CFO must be a good example and lead the entire organization toward growth. This includes maintaining data integrity, fostering a culture of honesty, and effectively communicating with team members. 


3. Business Intelligence Skills

As finance chiefs, having sufficient knowledge of business intelligence is necessary. CFOs must take charge of facilitating accurate and up-to-date data across the organization and ensuring that other business leaders receive meaningful insights when making crucial financial decisions. 


With proper use of business intelligence, CFOs can correlate and visualize large amounts of disparate data from multiple sources to reveal financial and operational insights and make it available to anyone in the organization. 


In addition, CFOs can also take advantage of business intelligence through: 


  1. Reduced Risks: Business intelligence helps protect the organization by detecting and preventing fraudulent activities in real-time. It also analyzes data and industry trends, giving CFOs a heads-up on potential risks. This data-driven approach helps ensure financial stability while minimizing potential losses.  


  1. Increased Profitability: With business intelligence, finance chiefs can gain a better understanding of their ideal customers through its powerful dashboard and reporting features. By identifying profitable clients, CFOs can develop targeted marketing strategies, increase customer value, and ultimately improve profitability. 


  1. Better communication: Business intelligence provides everyone in the organization access to the same real-time data, facilitating effective communication across departments. This enables finance teams to collaborate efficiently, align objectives, and make informed decisions based on accurate data. 


  1. Competitive Edge: CFOs can gain a competitive edge by using business intelligence in analyzing market trends and comparing product or service offerings to competitors. This allows CFOs to identify strengths, weaknesses, and tailor their strategies with their business goals. 


  1. Marketing Profitability: Business intelligence tools allow CFOs to assess the profitability and ROI of marketing campaigns through CRM data analysis. By measuring the effectiveness of marketing efforts, CFOs can optimize strategies and identify areas for improvement. 


  1. Operational Efficiency: With business intelligence, CFOs can identify areas for improvement, streamline financial management, enhance productivity, and allocate resources efficiently. This data-centric approach helps CFOs support future business objectives. 



4. Effective Communication

Communication remains as a fundamental skill for CFOs. Through effective communication, finance chiefs can convey strategic information and financial concepts to various stakeholders in a clear and concise manner.


5. Project Management

As the firms grow and undertake various projects, CFOs will need to excel in project management. From mergers and acquisitions to implementing new systems and processes, CFOs will need to effectively oversee these projects and ensure their successful completion and execution within the allotted budget and timeline. 


READ NEXT: The CFO's Critical Role in Driving Business Transformation 


6. Stakeholder Management 

Like any successful business relationship, building and maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders is necessary as it will help CFOs to manage expectations,  ensure compliance with relevant regulations, and foster a collaborative environment. 


The Bottom Line  

CFOs indeed are important to the success of an organization. Hence, CFOs must continually enhance their skills and stay updated on industry advancements to remain competitive in the job market.  


By acquiring and enhancing essential skills such as strategic thinking, leadership abilities, proficiency in business intelligence, effective communication, project management, and stakeholder management, CFOs can successfully navigate challenges, make informed decisions, and contribute to the long-term growth and profitability of their organizations. 



Looking for an Accounting Outsourcing Partner? 

If you're a CFO seeking an accounting outsourcing provider with the right talent and skills, our team at D&V Philippines is ready to meet your needs.  


With over a decade of industry experience and a proven track record, we have served and partnered with clients across the globe. Our team of experienced certified public accountants (CPA) and auditors bring a wealth of expertise, having worked with the Big 4 Firms.  


We are committed to staying updated with the latest industry standards through regular training and upskilling, ensuring that our clients receive top-notch service. Contact us today and discover how our outsourcing services can become your trusted business partner.  


You can also check out what our satisfied clients have to say by visiting our testimonial page or you can grab a copy of our whitepaper, Premium CFO to learn more about our comprehensive CFO support services.  

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Our Outsourcing: How to Make it Work guide explores how you can utilize accounting and finance outsourcing to drive growth to your business and add value to your processes.