As an organization built “by CFOs and for CFOs”, we pride ourselves on attracting partners who represent an eclectic array of industries and backgrounds. And, with such a vast knowledge base, we can certainly fortify our mission to “empower CFOs”. Focusing on our ongoing commitment to excellence in professional development, we are proud to offer you access to the best possible resources.
A part of Randstad USA, Tatum, one of our renowned partners, provides a broad range of finance and accounting staffing services and solutions, all focused on resolving the challenges facing both c-suites and CFOs. Need some insight on effectively capitalizing on your role as CFO? Here is a blog by Monica Foster, Tatum’s National Managing Partner of Talent Management:
How To Effectively Capitalize On The Expanding CFO Role
In June 2017, Boeing announced that its Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Greg Smith, will assume new, expanded responsibilities to include accelerating innovation, productivity, and oversight of enterprise performance and strategy. This announcement is just the latest in a string of recent moves to expand the roles of CFOs by organizations, and likely not surprising to CFOs across the country. That’s because CFOs have seen their duties grow over the past few years. In fact, 85 percent of CPAs said the role of the CFO and the finance function has expanded moderately or significantly in their organization, according to a recent AICPA survey.1
In the modern day business landscape, CFOs are faced with balancing competing demands on their priorities and time, tasked with continuing to manage traditional financial responsibilities while also playing a transformational role in driving strategy for their business. Consider a recent Dun & Bradstreet survey which found almost all (97%) financial leaders say their responsibilities now include a growing emphasis on strategic responsibility.2
While changes in today’s economic and business marketplace have driven this need for more involvement from CFOs, it hasn’t come without its complications and challenges. Many CFOs face difficulties meeting the expectations of both financial and strategic roles. The good news is by modifying key practices and skills, and leveraging emerging technologies, CFOs can forge a smoother and more successful path forward.
Leveraging Data To Inform Better Decision-Making
Emerging data capabilities and technologies can be powerful in helping CFOs meet business expectations in their new joint role. In fact, the Dun & Bradstreet survey found the majority of financial leaders (45%) believe data is “extremely important” to make smart decisions and forecasts. The biggest data benefit cited by 43 percent of respondents centered on helping collate customer intelligence.3 However, many CFOs face strong headwinds when it comes to executive leadership’s willingness to invest in technology and data intelligence tools.
CFOs must gain support for the data and analytical capabilities needed to empower their insight and more informed decision-making, as well as the talent equipped to deliver on the opportunities offered by those platforms. The reality is if strategic planning is a top priority for the organization, the finance function needs to invest in its people and in the technology necessary to drive budgeting, forecasting, and long-term planning. Often, this means addressing financial data needs. as well as operational information that drives more effective business intelligence for identifying new market and profit opportunities, measuring business performance, running simulations, or bringing customer insights.
Gain A Deeper Understanding Of The Business To Drive Performance
It goes without saying that a key element of the new strategic role is driving business performance. In fact, more than one-third of financial leaders (34%) say driving performance will be an essential skill in the next one to three years.4 However, a precursor to driving performance is an extensive understanding of the business in order to define key metrics and identifying opportunities to improve bottom-line performance.
For additional topics of interest, we encourage you to refer to Tatum’s Knowledge Center, providing you with convenient access to information from a variety of consultants who thoroughly understand today’s business environment and its impact on the c-suite. Their expertise is shared in a variety of national publications, articles, and white papers, as well as the company’s quarterly Survey of Business Conditions, which serves as a pulse-check on emerging corporate and economic trends.