The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is, without a doubt, one of the busiest executives in any organisation. CFOs traditionally lead the finance and accounting (F&A) department of the organisation. The CFO is also responsible for informing the rest of the leadership, especially the CEO, on the financial well-being of the organisation.
However, the developments in finance and accounting have made the CFO more essential to other parts of the operations and administration. Together with the rest of the F&A department, the CFO supports the whole company with updated data on their financial standing, budgetary requirements for projects, and internal controls that ensure that processes run at optimal levels.
With all of these roles, your CFO will definitely need all the help from the finance and accounting professionals in your organisation. Here are the three essential roles necessary to support your CFO.
1. Management Accountants
A primary role of a CFO is to support the company by making sure that financial records and books are properly maintained. In this regard, management accountants assist the CFO in preparing financial statements and accounts, monitor the budgets and costs of projects, and forecast the future spending and profits of the organisation. Aside from which, management accountants should also make recommendations to the CFO on how to reduce costs help other managers make better business decisions.
2. Financial Controllers
Financial controllers are the CFO’s go-to people when it comes to making sure that processes in the finance and accounting department, and even in the operations are running properly. They plan, implement, and monitor the internal controls that help the organization prevent costly errors and process redundancies.
Some of the key roles of financial controllers include the preparation and review of key performance indicators (KPIs), completion of statutory reports, the monthly review of key products/service lines for efficiency, and critical review of overhead expenses and implementation of cost-reduction strategies. By performing these roles, financial controllers assist the CFO in providing organisational support in different aspects of the business
3. Financial Analysts
CFOs keep their eyes both on the internal workings of the organisation and the changes in the economy. This helps the CFO formulate plans to help the organisation take advantage of certain opportunities and prepare for fluctuations in the economy. In this regard, financial analysts keep their eyes on the macro and micro-economic levels and make recommendations to the CFO based on these trends.
Aside from these recommendations, financial analysts are also in charge of preparing monthly consolidations, analyse fluctuations revenues in expenses and revenues, prepare quarterly operating reports, assist in the budget and reforecast process, and drafting of quarterly operating reports.
In many ways, the CFO supports the company in performing its business. However, the CFO cannot deliver the expected outputs alone. Finding the right people support is relevant to the CFO’s success. These people will not only contribute to your CFO’s work, but will also help in making sure that your business achieves its financial goals at every turn.
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This article was first published 04 May 2019 and edited 14 August 2020.