21st Century CFO

The modern CFO has significantly evolved and expanded its responsibilities over the past 20 years. Today’s CFO plays a critical role in ensuring stability, facilitating forward looking decision-making and evangelizing business technology and innovation.

CFOs typically have a 3-way mandate from the Executive Team and Board of Directors:

  1. Partner with the CEO to be a key strategic resource and facilitate decision-making
  2. Ensure a solid Financial, HR and Legal foundation (processes, policies and systems)
  3. Monitor financial resources including cash flows and third-party investments

In short, today’s CFO needs to lead on both strategic and tactical issues as they relate to financial management, cost benefit analysis, forecasting, funding and business technology.

Strategic Partner

As a strategic partner to the CEO, the CFO needs to provide expert decision-making with a focus on value creation. The CFO is frequently tasked with providing solid operational information to the rest of the Management Team and is asked to take the lead in analyzing complex issues.   These issues may include how to address multiple new channels in a global environment, how to use technology to better equip the corporation (Ecommerce, Cloud Computing and Globalization), or how to determine if the company should escalate their commitment to a particular strategy or project.

In each of these scenarios, the CFO needs razor-sharp situational awareness as they take an incremental view to additional investment.   In addition, CFOs often need to be the voice of reason when it comes to abandoning a particular project or strategy that has not historically gone well and no longer has a positive new present value.

Systems and Process Leader

One of the new roles that CFOs are playing is that of Technology Evangelist.  In many cases, CIOs report directly to the CFO and therefore the CFO is ultimately responsible for the selection and implementation of core business technologies and processes.  The trend is for new enabling technologies such as Cloud Computing, Analytics, Mobile and Social to force new strategies for the business.   As CFOs are ultimately responsible for improving current operations including HR, Legal and Accounting, they are also responsible for implementing innovative technologies in these areas that translate into tangible business value.

Investment / Cost Monitoring / Regulatory

The CFO is also responsible for driving day-to-day functions such as cash management, deal desk, financial planning, cost management, SEC filings, regulatory requirements, earnings calls, board meetings, HR and Facilities to ensure the Executive Team can focus on product and service development and sales.   By balancing short-run cost management with long-term innovation and value creation, the CFO needs to facilitate investment for growth while maintaining cost efficiency and risk management.

The world is constantly changing and to become the best organization, you need to stay ahead of the pack.  To this end, HBSC specialized in helping CFOs plan and execute financial and HRIS automation, optimization and transformation projects.  If your organization is interested in achieving a higher level of performance, HBSC can help.  Please contact us at client-development@hbsconsult.com.

Subscribe to Insights

Sign up here to receive email alerts from HBSC.

  • Click the checkbox to help us defeat spam!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.