The Evolution of the Roles of the CFO: What Makes a Good CFO in 2019?
The latest trends in finance, accounting, data, and technology are redefining the work of finance and accounting (F&A) professionals everywhere. For Chief Financial Officers (CFOs), these rapid changes in the F&A industry mean that they need to adjust and recalibrate their roles as they redefine what makes a good CFO and meet the growing needs of their business.
Here are four important skills that will help CFOs deliver more in the next five years, according to CFOs:
Familiarizing with the latest technologies and data analytics
In 2016, Ernst & Young UK conducted a study with 16 public sector CFOs and found that 74% of them believe in the importance of gaining knowledge on the latest digital and smart F&A technologies, and data analytics software. They are aware that technology has already changed the way F&A is done. In order to deliver output that is at par with the requirements of the digital age, CFOs and their teams need these tools to achieve the necessary quality and security that they provide.
Communication and Management Skills towards Stakeholders
In a previous article, we discussed communication as one of the essential skills and abilities that a CFO should possess. This skill becomes more vital whenever CFOs are engaging with the company’s stakeholders and management. Updating them on the company’s financial well-being and making data-based recommendations on the company’s financial strategy are among the primary roles of a CFO.
They must take into consideration that while stakeholders and C-suite members of their company are competent and knowledgeable, not all of them have the sufficient background to understand everything that is happening in finance. Being able to communicate important information well and managing information properly are among the things that make a great CFO.
Leadership and Team-building Skills
Gone are the days when CFOs are confined within their workspaces to process, analyze, and check reports that detail their company’s F&A. Today, CFOs are expected to work hand-in-hand with their F&A team, as well as other departments within the business.
Through developing the necessary leadership skills, CFOs are able to enhance their teams’ productivity and quality output, and prepare their team members for more sophisticated roles in the future.
Strategic and Clear-minded
In the midst of the demand for soft -skills among F&A professionals, CFOs are, above all, their company’s chief financial strategists. They need to be strategic in maintaining a healthy financial status and have a clear vision of how they can contribute to driving growth for the business. All other CFO skills and responsibilities should be able to help them fulfill their tasks as financial strategists and visionaries of the company.
When the time comes for your startup to scale, it might be challenging for you when you don’t have the right people in your position. While it’s possible to restructure your organization when the time comes, it could be too cumbersome for everyone involved. In this regard, having a strong management team from the get-go can work to your advantage.
The modern business landscape demands a lot from CFOs today. They are no longer perceived as lone office wolves who spend most of their working hours inside their offices. Today’s world expects the best CFOs to have the skills and abilities to meet the growing demands of digitalization and security trends.
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