The CFO role has increasingly expanded from overseeing all finance activities to owning the big picture and driving the company’s growth and strategic direction. However, key to this growth is the successful establishment and nurturing of strategic cross-functional relationships that can help propel the company forward.
In October, The CFO RoundTable Boston hosted “The CFO as a Strategic Partner,” where our panel of expert business unit leaders shared their perspectives on how CFOs can work collaboratively to build value in their companies.
President & CEO
Be a Generalist and a Specialist: While a CFO must be excellent at their core job, it’s also important to be more than just the numbers person – take the time to internalize the business and product lines.
Be an Exceptional Communicator: Be self-aware of your executive presence and regularly practice succinct, clear communications in a rapid fire environment.
Be an Educator: As stated by one of our panelists, “The CFO is the translator of the world to the company.” Your teams need an education on not only how their work impacts the business, but also how external market forces could impact their work and the company’s health. Regularly involve yourself in status meetings with your ops, sales, and customer service teams to both educate and learn.
It’s Not About The Mechanics, It’s About The Execution: When dealing with budgets, it’s less about the mechanics than it is about the connection point of strategy and execution. Help your teams take a long-term view of their budget – understanding where the revenue is today, where you and they want it to be in 5 years, and what they need to do to get there. Further, help your teams drive financial reporting and forecasting that’s forward thinking and proactive.
Get Involved In Hiring: Actively involve yourself in the hiring process to support your culture at all levels. This is key to your company’s success and the ability to do so will set you apart.
Have a Regular Cadence for Strategy Sessions: Get your team on the same page on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Educate them on where the business is headed, and make it a team effort. Remember that execution is key – develop and drive KPIs that go beyond finance and into the heart of the business.
- Shorten the Distance Between You and Your Customer: Get out of your office and talk to your customers to get a first-hand view of your business performance.
Finally, as stated by one of our CFOs, “bring your A Game – you have a maximum of 5 years to make change happen.”
Photos and More Information
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