Traditionally, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) was simply seen as a glorified accountant, crunching numbers from the safety of their desk and translating spreadsheets to workable figures. However, in today’s modern market where technology often takes on the more menial tasks of said number crunching, the average CFO has become so much more – and as such, more valuable to the companies they serve.
So, for the company who’s curious what to look for in their next hire, or for the traditional CFO seeking to evolve with the changing industry, here’s what often makes a modern CFO successful.
Learn to Work with an IT Team
With recent GDPR privacy laws, massive leaps in the type of information that can be processed through technology, and the rising cyber threats a business can face, ensuring the security of company data has never been more crucial. According to a report done by Forbes, however, when it comes to the separate IT and C-suite departments, “each has different cyber security priorities. It turns out, nearly 40 percent of IT professionals don’t even think the executive teams understand the full risk of a cyber-attack.”
For a CFO whose very job is to mitigate the financial risk of a company, learning to work with an IT team that ensures optimum data security and privacy compliance is imperative to avoid the blowback of a potential scandal.
Master Unconventional Threat Forecasting
Beyond simply predicting the financial future of a company, CFOs now have the potential and skills to evaluate the economy as a whole – often affording them valuable insight into market disruptions caused by natural disasters, national security scares, and price wars, that can give the company they serve an edge over what’s to come.
Furthermore, in addition to threat forecasting, a good CFO can often apply those same skills for numerical thinking and predictive reasoning into analyzing daily workflow outside the financial realm. Skills like noticing where customer engagement is falling or recognizing inefficient systems, that makes them even more vital to the company scene.
A successful CFO has not only the expertise to turn data into a comprehensive picture, but the communication skills to translate that picture into layman’s terms that the rest of the company will understand.
But beyond this, true magic happens when a CFO jumps out of their comfort zone and becomes involved in departments outside of finance. Capable of sensing production patterns as mentioned above, inter-department cooperation between a CFO can bring valuable insight to the performance of the company on both a micro and macro level.
Everywhere, more and more businesses are starting to recognize and utilize CFOs for the quick-thinking, analytical decision-makers they are – from corporate acumen to performance innovation. So, for all the nay-sayers who believe CFOs are destined to be replaced by automated technology? Think again.
The modern CFO is a mean machine of their own.
If you are interested in this additional support but don’t have the resources to hire one on staff, reach out to us to discuss your needs as we are offering financial strategist services to assist entrepreneurs with this aspect of running their companies. We can customize the services offered to meet your specific situation.