Many people have a fairly good understanding of the traditional functions of a CFO. And those valuable functions remain the same whether we’re talking about the CFO of a Fortune 500 company or the CFO of a small business. Essentially, CFOs (1) track revenue, profit, and cash flow, (2) analyze financial strengths and weaknesses, and (3) propose corrective actions.
And while the first two numbers-based functions are clearly vital to an organization’s success, the ability to propose corrective actions has arguably never been more important. Today, challenges abound—from supply chain disruptions to labor issues to record inflation, all of which impact the decisions that must be made. And unprecedented challenges call for unprecedented thinking, but not just by the CFO.
The Evolving CFO Role
It’s no secret that traditionally, CFOs were primarily focused on the accounting aspects of a business. However, technology and the ever-changing economy (along with all of its own unique challenges) have been catalysts in the evolution of this role. CFOs have been called upon to shift some of their focus from financial reports and KPIs to operational and strategic solutions.
As organizations work tirelessly to continue to adjust and keep up with the changing world, CFOs are now finding themselves spending slightly less time on balance sheets and slightly more on strategy. They are working diligently right alongside CEOs to develop the corrective actions that will help the organization adjust to those changes … and thrive through them. Now, more than ever, a CFO helps to navigate the organization’s path to success by bridging the gap from where it is today to where it needs to go tomorrow.
Corrective Action Needs Collaboration
As a trusted strategic partner to the CEO, the CFO is being asked to help determine those corrective courses of action to allow for the best strategic decisions for future growth. However, implementation can only truly occur when the CEO and other executives in the organization collaborate with the CFO on the most effective strategy to do so. Simply, the CFO needs the support of the other leaders in the organization.
To truly move the growth needle in our highly interconnected world, the CEO, IT leaders, operational leaders, and HR leaders should work closely with the CFO. Once they better understand how and why these proposed corrective actions should be taken, they can then move forward with a strategic, data-driven plan.
Ultimately, today’s CFO sees beyond the numbers. By implementing forward-thinking strategy into those proposed corrective actions, they are discovering the opportunities to explore, and the risks to avoid—those which can only be found in between the lines of all those spreadsheets. With a CFO’s expertise, the team knows what to focus on each month to have a more profitable, and now a more strategic, business. The key to success is in the combination of financial acumen, leadership skills, a strategic mindset, and the ability to collaborate in looking at both short- and long-term goals to sustain organizational growth.
At Agile Planners, we provide strategic guidance and outsourced CFO services to companies of all sizes. We can help provide the strategy your organization needs for the growth you want. We understand that no two organizations are the same. And with our experience and financial knowledge, we can help develop the right strategic plan for your business to grow and reach its goals. Simply, we’ll be your trusted partner, so you can focus on running your organization. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.