THE ROLE OF THE CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO)

The role of the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) has been changing over the past 20 years. Originally, the role of the CFO revolved around producing and analyzing the financial statements. However, with the speed of technological development has gradually computerization of the accounting functions of the CFO helps to focus more on the role and its responsibilities. The job description of a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) remains broad the tasks comprising that function fall into 4 distinct roles:

The Strategist CFO

The first role of the CFO is to be a strategist to the CEO. The traditional definition of success for a chief financial officer was reporting the numbers, managing the financial function, and being reactive to events as they unfold. But in today’s fast-paced business environment, producing financial reports and information is no longer enough.

CFO’s in the 21 century must be able to “peak around corners”. Therefore, they must be able to apply critical thinking skills, along with financial acumen, to the long-term goals of the organization.

The CFO as a Leader

The second role of the CFO hand in hand with the first one. That is one of a leader implementing the strategies of the company. As a result, it is no longer sufficient for a CFO to sit back and analyze the effort of others. The chief financial officer (CFO) of today must take ownership of the financial results of both the organization and senior management team.

The chief financial officer of today must be responsible for providing leadership to other senior management team members, including the CEO. The CFO’s role can sometimes force them to make the tough calls that others in the organization don’t or can’t make. Occasionally, this can mean the difference between success and failure.

The CFO as a Team Leader

The third role of the CFO is that of a team leader to other employees – both inside and outside of the financial function. Not only will a coach call plays for a team, but they are also responsible for getting the highest results out of the talent on their team. An aspiring and successful coach will produce superior results by finding the strengths of their team members and obtaining a higher level of performance than the individuals might achieve on their own. The role of the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is to bring together a diverse group of talented individuals to achieve superior financial performance.

The CFO as a diplomat

Last, but not least, the role of the CFO is that of a diplomat to third parties. People outside of the company look to a senior management team for inspiration and confidence in the company’s ability to perform. In almost every case CFO’s role becomes that of the “face” decision on the financial capability of the company.

The CFO’s role becomes that of the role of the company’s sustainability to customers, vendors, and bankers. Often these third parties look to the CFO for the unvarnished truth regarding the financial viability of the company to deliver on its brand promise.

Today’s Role of the CFO

In today’s fast-paced environment the role of the CFO is extremely fluid. Consequently, to be a successful CFO in the future you must be a more multi-functional executive with financial skills.

Source Strategiccfo.com

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