CFO - Investors’ True Insider!
The Chief Financial Officer's (CFO'S) role in a corporate set up has been changing over the last couple of decades. The CFO, from being merely a financial wizard, is now seen more as a “Strategy” person and a business leader who has control over all the major issues (financial and nonfinancial) in the company.
The CFOS have hands-on approach on majority of the dealings of the company and are the ones who have complete information on all aspects of the business. Today’s CFO can be seen as a Financial Strategist & Business Advisor to the CEO. It is no longer enough for CFOS to be reporting numbers and managing financial function.
Today’s CFO is seen applying critical thinking skills along with financial acumen to the long-term goals of the organisation. The CFO is also a team player who takes the ownership of the financial results of the organisation. The CFO’S role involves taking tough calls that others in the organisation do not or cannot take.
As a team leader responsible for building a team of experts in business and finance, a CFO also needs to be good people manager. When it comes to interacting with external parties, the CFO needs to have diplomatic skills. A good CFO will normally inspire the people from outside of the company and generate confidence amongst the stakeholders on the company’s ability to perform. CFO is, on most occasions, the senior person in the company who will vouch for financial viability of the company. Thus, for customers, vendors, shareholders and the bankers, CFO is the face of the company’s sustainability.
The role of a CFO is increasingly becoming flexible nowadays and a CFO is often seen multi-tasking. Increasingly, the CFO is becoming a multi-functional senior management officer with mastery in finance Few years back, a CFO was seen as a forecaster of all the financial requirements of the organisation and one who had a tab on all upcoming and contingent liabilities. These days the role of a CFO has become parallel to that of the CEO. The role played by CFO complements that of the CEO.
The today’s CFO is under a lot of pressure as he is required to manage lot of transformational challenges. In the current environment, where the compliance rules are getting stricter and internal control needs to be maintained at high levels, the work is cut out for the CFOS. The CFO is also responsible for building a team of financial experts with advanced analytical and communications skills who can collaborate and help other departments use data to make sound strategic decisions in a volatile business environment. No wonder, forward looking analysis has become a norm rather than an exception for a CFO.