Today's CFO No longer a backroom "bean counter"

Essay by maintainer6University, Bachelor'sA-, May 2004

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Today's CFO, is an example of the new breed of future senior executive officers - young, dynamic, energetic, ambitious and well-trained. No longer is a backroom "bean counter", today's CFO expected to be at the right hand of the chief executive or managing director, providing strong strategic direction as well as acute financial analysis for the company. For this reason, the role of CFO is considered to be an influential stepping stone to higher office, and it is becoming more common for the position to be occupied by those under the age of 40. The old style of CFO was responsible for reporting and custodial objectives. Now the role of CFO is more about communication and working with strategic perspectives. One of the objectives of CFO, for example, is to identify road blocks and opportunities that may emerge for the company in the years ahead. Their job is to look forward and work out where the company will be not only from a financial perspective, but also from an operational and strategic perspective as well.

They are very prospective in their reviews and discussions with the board, and with management, compared with the old retrospective approach when the CFO would deliver the management accounts for the previous month. In general terms, the role of the CFO is not a pure finance position and it can't be. A CFO needs to be there to support the managing director with marketing analysis, competitive analysis - they are there to lead acquisitions and the business strategy of the company. The CFO needs to be the 'right-hand person' for the managing director or CEO, a sounding board and a partner. If one concentrates purely on finance, you can't add value to the company. The CFO's role today is a senior management...