Why CEOs need a strategic CFO on their team.

“CFOs and other senior finance professionals are transitioning from “bean counters” to “bean sprouters,” as we play a greater role in our organisations’ strategy” – Jeff Thompson (President and CEO of IMA – the Institute of Management Accountants)

And according to a report released by BlackLine and Middle Market Executive, CFOs at mid-market companies are experiencing a similar transformation.

The importance of a strategic team

As a CEO or Founder of your business, you need a strategic finance professional on your team. They become your sounding board, provide a sanity check and supply you with information that will make it easier for you to make decisions for the growth of your company. They focus on building a strategic team, as opposed to hiring individuals to perform a function, and they build a team, not individuals. According to research conducted by the CEB (a subsidiary of Gartner), just 1% of finance staff members excel at the builder, strategist, and persuader competencies. Strategic CFOs understand the importance of connecting with the rest of the organisation, and building relationships that are founded on effective communication and collaborative working for greater productivity across the whole business.

According to Andreas Kraemer (Venture Capital) there are 2 distinctly different groups of Finance professionals. Those who mostly digest historic information, who work in a heavily regulated environment and according to a very specific set of accounting and tax rules, and those who take the critical information provided by the first group, and dissect that into strategy and forecasts upon which to base key decisions and discussions further up the management and leadership chain. The latter group consists of individuals who help CEOs and other founders make better educated management decisions. They were trained to think creatively and understand the importance of accuracy and structure and how that feeds into a larger, more holistic business management strategy. A business cannot function without either of these groups of people – but unfortunately, many businesses overlook the strategic in an effort to simply comply.

Value Chain Insight

As much as your CFO may want to, many simply don’t have the time, or the ability, to focus on helping their management teams understand issues that may affect them – either immediately, or in the long-run. Where they are charged with optimising the performance of a business, being able to disconnect themselves from the business-of-today, to take a look further afield is a privilege that not many CFOs, and in fact CEOs, experience in their business. “Realising the true performance potential of the company requires the CFO to develop an unbiased, holistic, end-to-end view of the company’s full value chain—from customer needs to back-office operations to suppliers’ contributions to competitors’ positioning—and pinpoint the places that need attention.” – Strategy& (member of the PwC network)

If it’s time that you take a closer look at your finance function, then have a chat to us. Our teams offer you the services you need – whether it’s the day-to-day fundamental financial protocol, or a bigger, more strategic, outlook over your business – helping you plan for your next stage of growth.

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