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The Modern CFO: Mission-Critical Strategies To Ensure Your Future Success

Posted on:  October 30, 2020

The role of the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) has evolved over the last few decades. In year’s past, the primary function of the CFO was to report the numbers and manage the company’s finances. However, in today’s fast-paced, competitive environment, creating financial statements, and having an advanced knowledge in accounting is no longer enough.

The position now demands a much more strategic, high level, critical thinking approach. He or she must always be “peaking around the corners” and ensuring every decision aligns with the long-term goals of the organization.

Today’s Modern CFO Must:

  • Be Multi-Functional
  • Understand The Entire Company & Its Industry
  • Keep An Eye To The Future

Mission-Critical CFO Strategies:

1

Become An Analytics Wizard

The more time you spend analyzing your data, the more you help drive your business forward. The modern CFO should only spend about 10% of their time on transactions, and the remaining 90% on managing data. The better your insights, the better your decisions.

2

Manage Risk

The level of risk continues to rise in today’s uncertain economic climate. The new CFO needs to be operating beside the CEO to navigate risks, make the organization resilient, and strengthen the overall business model.

3

Adapt New Technology

CFOs can no longer rely on old tools to manage their company’s finances and make decisions. You must use innovative technology to capture, structure, and maximize the insights into your data. Identifying and managing the company’s most critical information is a task the modern CFO must own. You’ll need access to information on-demand with the ability to see the story behind the numbers.

4

Measure Political Impact

You must be at the forefront of understanding the implications of all financial and regulatory guidelines and communicating that information to decisions-makers within your organization.

5

Understand Business Drivers

The new CFO must be able to look at the value their company is creating based on variables, such as intellectual property and intangible assets. These non-financial drivers are crucial to driving your business forward.

For additional insight into how you can impact your organization’s growth and ensure its security is ready for the next decade, download our Top 5 Reasons For CFO Failure report.

Modern CFO Fears

In today’s climate of economic uncertainty, the modern CFO has more to worry about than just financial statements.

Studies show that the majority of today’s CFOs are currently most concerned about:

  • Uncertainty In U.S. Economy & Global Markets – 55% of CFOs believe economic uncertainty will carry over for at least the next 12 months.
  • Access To Capital & Talent – Some 70% of CFOs say they’re working hard to find and keep great talent.
  • Increasing Competition
  • Decreasing Customer Demand
  • Political Concerns – CFOs are most concerned and frustrated with the dysfunction in Congress over the delay in a bill that would extend more than 50 popular tax provisions they take advantage of on a yearly basis. Most are assuming the extensions won’t occur.
  • Interest Rates & Currency – Many executives are worried that a strong U.S. dollar will hurt their overseas operations and depress revenue, while others point to mixed signals from the Fed over an increase in interest rates.
  • Cybersecurity – CFOs recognize and understand the risk of web security and undetected breaches. See a more detailed look at what you need to know about cybersecurity into the next decade.
  • Regulatory Compliance – 76% of CFOs are worried about the ability & associated costs to keep up with government regulations.
  • Growth Risk – 80% of CFOs say they’ll pursue growth in already established markets. Most suggest any enthusiasm surrounding mergers and acquisitions is waning.

For a more detailed look into these fears and how best to overcome them, visit our virtual Synoptix Summit session on Financials For The Future.

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