The CFO is as much about the business itself as the numbers, A good understanding of both makes a good chief financial officer.
Also, a good CFO has a good team and allows them to grow professionally and support the chief financial officer.
A valuable CFO understands the business and people and enjoys growing both with transparency and humility.
The definition of a chief financial officer
has transformed from just a numbers person that you see only when there is an issue to a knowledgeable partner to everyone who is approachable.
A critical point is how good finance chiefs speak with pictures and analogies, not just analytically.
So not only the C-Suite and board of directors understand results, challenges, and opportunities, but everyone within the organization. Instead of being triggered into fear, people will understand the reasons for decisions and will be more inspired to contribute and innovate.
The art is no longer in accounting for the numbers. It is much more about being able to tell the story, help others tell the story, and being able to visualize where the pathways may veer so that decision-makers are already prepared. And pictures are usually understood by everyone, unlike words and numbers!
“Managing Through COVID-19: CFOs must consider what needs to change in how a company operates and what opportunities can be seized. This is not going to be a short and back-to-normal event but rather a change-inducing medium-term crisis with some kind of social distancing staying with us until a vaccine becomes available while the economy takes a U- or L-shaped recovery
It will bring a change in customer needs and behaviour as well as new ways your suppliers, clients, and partners are executing business with you; some of those trends will prevail as a ‘new normal.’
This situation will force companies to look for new business models and work organizations; some may even prove more efficient and profitable than current solutions.
This situation will bring to the forefront the importance of planning, budgeting, and forecasting [which is] critical to being able to react quickly and be on the offensive. And to do this effectively and efficiently, the CFO/ finance director must steer clear of micro-managing, delegate operational functions to people that he/she trusts, have a strong team that understands the mission and enjoys their job, focus on the long-term, and be open to constant improvement.
The CFO is becoming the main decision-maker and the most important employee of the company and should always have a seat on the board. In fact, going forward, boards need to reconsider the CEO's role in leadership.
In response to “How to Keep the Bankers and Investors on Your Side During a Recession” we must appreciate the importance of open communication with bankers and investors. Strong, well-thought decision-making will allow your banker and investors to continue to follow your lead.