Apart from supervising and reporting on a company's overall spending, chief financial officers (CFOs) have found that their roles have broadened. Advancements in technology and business culture now require CFOs to become more of a partner to their Chief Executive Officers (CEOs).
While you generally need a strong work ethic, problem solving skills and a degree in business, finance or economics to be a CFO, the expanded scope of your role calls for some extra skillsets.
Corporate Finance & Accounting
You can be an effective CFO with a deep understanding of how the company generates revenue - whether through direct sales or reseller commissions, as well as how it spends all of its resources. These resources cover everything from salaries, to training, to operational costs to coffee.
To become more of a partner to the CEO, you can help with formulating strategies for growing the business. This includes searching for new opportunities, innovating and improving your business model and establishing key performance metrics.
As more and more small to medium enterprises go international, your CFO duties will include becoming a consultant on the sustainability of a business model and on the pros, cons and requirements of investing in or merging and partnering with companies from different parts of the world.
Traditionally, CFOs were in charge of the company's Finance and Accounting department. But, with the scope of tasks expanding to strategic planning and risk management, you can expect to have to guide, manage and motivate the rest of the company's teams - from sales, marketing and customer service to human resources, IT and administration.
Public Speaking and Communication
CFOs now have to share the responsibility of appearing before the media, employees and investors. With a new emphasis on everyone being an active shareholder of a company - in stocks and in man-hours - a CFO needs to be able to communicate the company's financial strategies and performance whether at a live assembly, in podcasts or in blogs and newsletters.
With these skills and with the support of your Finance and Accounting team, you can become an effective CFO, a partner to your CEO, and a good leader to your organization.
Kruger, Pamela. "CFOs: 3 Skills You Need Now." The Build Network, Mansueto Ventures LLC. 13 Feb. 2012. Web. 10 July 2014.
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