Here’s Why Modern CFOs Need to be Good Communicators

Posted by Mary Milorrie Campos

Aug 23, 2021 12:00:00 PM

So you’re excellent with numbers and strategic thinking? Chances are, these skills aren’t enough to turn you into a sought-after CFO. Today, companies need finance leaders who can deliver complex data in an easy-to-understand way to various stakeholders — even to those with little background in finance. Find out why, along with the benefits of developing strong CFO communication skills, by reading this article.

cfo communication skills

On top of your key skills in finance and accounting, it’s also important to develop good communication skills. By doing so, you’ll become more effective in performing your expanding duties and responsibilities.

Specifically, here are the reasons why you should improve your communication skills as CFO.

  • Your role is transforming

As a modern CFO, you’re probably taking on bigger responsibilities than before. You’re no longer limited to finance and accounting roles. Instead, you may find yourself working alongside other C-level executives in leading the company towards business growth. 

From doing independent work most of the time, your role is becoming more collaborative. Aside from working with other decision-makers, you may also need to face clients, negotiate deals, and lead employees across the organisation. 

Fostering positive relationships with them is a must to guarantee your effectiveness in carrying out your responsibilities. And of course, at the heart of it lies good communication.

 

  • Help stakeholders understand complex data

Understanding complex data is far different from explaining them to another person, especially to those who don’t have finance backgrounds. Sad to say, this is where most CFOs fall short.

Being technically-inclined individuals, finance leaders tend to focus on complicated data. They love computation, spreadsheets, and all. However, they’re not trained to present it to non-technical people. If they can’t make these people understand the value behind the data, then it won’t make sense at all. 

As a modern CFO, you must not only deliver data but also provide meaningful insights into it. You already possess the key skills to analyse and interpret hard data. What you need to do instead is to enhance your storytelling and visualisation skills. What are the impacts of these numbers on the business? Is there an opportunity for growth? Or perhaps, a risk? If the stakeholders make this decision, how will it affect the organisation?

Through this, you’ll be in a better position to communicate change and address critical issues.

 

  • Communication is essential when negotiating

Transforming complex financial data into useful information is crucial when negotiating deals. In most cases, it can even be the secret ingredient in getting more clients on board your company.

If you know how to explain your numbers well, you can let your prospects know how the terms will affect both parties. This could be your advantage over a competitor who only understands the data but can’t draw out its possible impacts on the business.

 

  • Inspire employees into action

The world is becoming more digital, and most entities are taking the appropriate steps to adapt to it. Whether it’s transforming the business, the finance department, or the technological processes, your role as a CFO is crucial to the success of these initiatives. 

When employees resist change, you can lead the charge by leveraging your financial expertise, extensive knowledge of data, and strategic approach to innovation. These capabilities empower you to set clear priorities, ensure that everyone is aligned with the company’s missions and objectives, and keep everyone motivated. Moreover, you can also work with senior managers in identifying opportunities and risks, in effect providing more value to employees.

 

We can’t emphasise enough the importance of communication in business. Whether you’re a practicing or an aspiring CFO, investing in your communication skills today will surely pay off in the near future.

Interested to know the other essential skills of a modern CFO? Read this article next: CFO Skills and Abilities: Four Essential Skills The Modern CFO Should Have

If you need a CFO support service to facilitate process improvement in our company, you may get in touch with our finance transformation advisors today. You can also download a copy of our Premium CFO Solutions whitepaper to learn more about our CFO services.Download CFO Solutions Ebook

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