In 2010, Ernst & Young performed their first study on the role of a CFO. The study determined that the CFO role was in the process of expanding from just finance to a much more complex position. In 2016, Ernst & Young followed up with a study that determined this role has expanded at a shocking pace, “64% of finance leaders worldwide agree that they will be increasingly asked to take on wider operational leadership roles beyond finance.”
Tony Staffierie, CFO at Rogers Communications correlates the CFO role to an all-star athlete. Like a star athlete, the CFO has many responsibilities, guides a team to victory with his talent, and has unbelievable focus & determination to deliver the final goal.
- Are well equipped to challenge the long-held assumptions that encourage bureaucratic practices
- Help make sure that available resources go where they will generate the greatest value
- Bring a wealth of proven experience in delivering against cost & operational efficiency targets
- Have increased involvement in driving innovation in how the company is managed
- Bring finance closer to line managers in the business, building relationships and establishing credibility for the finance team
This sounds like A LOT of responsibility and new tasks every day–and it is. Many CFOs are concerned that extensive operational responsibilities take up time that CFOs should be devoting to strategic priorities/initiatives. How can then they free up time to lead/grow other areas of their business? 48% of CFOs believe that their current finance function does not have the capabilities to meet future needs. This exposes a huge gap in the finance functions that CFOs need to find a way to bridge.
Like the all-star athlete faced with leading his team to victory in the face of adversity, so must the CFO lead his executive team to gain profit and solve problems. They must figure out how to practice and use their time more efficiently in order to empower their teams to do more. CFOs can’t continue to rely on lengthy, manual, excel based processes to serve all areas of their business. The new corporate athlete needs enhanced processes and state-of-the-art tools at their disposal to make data-driven, financially sound key decisions at a moment’s notice. With a self-service BI solution, they have the ability to push key metrics to the key stakeholders and senior-level management teams smart devices at any time. Their employees can then answer their own questions and solve problems before they affect the rest of the team. A good leader is only as good as his team, “72% of highly engaged employees understand their importance or role and how it contributes to organizational success, leading to stronger morale, stronger overall organization, and a strong leader and CEO.” Empowering your work force to use data to drive decisions no matter how small or large will make a large, positive impact on their organization’s profitability margins.