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CFO - 4 min read

CFOs used to be purely financial metrics-driven. The buck stopped with the CEO, and the CFO provided decision-making data to the stakeholders. Today, however, CFOs face increasing scrutiny and responsibility. With the focus now heavily on strategy and commerciality, the role of CFO has changed.

In this piece, we’ll look at the significant components of a CFO’s job and how a CFO can breathe new life into your business.


1 – Steward/Guardian?

Your company has assets and legal responsibilities that require protection and careful stewardship. A good CFO works to protect those assets, ensure compliance with financial regulations, reconcile the books accurately, and disseminate value and risk areas to investors and your board.

Having a qualified steward offers significant peace of mind to business owners who are out on the front lines each day, pursuing new opportunities and growing the company. 

In some ways, a CFO’s stewardship responsibilities encapsulate the backwards-looking part of the job: reporting on things that have happened and caring for assets that have already been acquired. But CFOs do more than just look backwards.


2 – Central Operator 

CFOs also help to manage the present. They must operate an efficient and effective finance process that administers key oversight into the business around things like financial planning and analysis, tax, cash flow and more.

As Chief (Central) Operators, CFOs tend to be the glue that holds many different parts of a business together. They decide how to invest the company’s money; this task requires a careful balance of risk and liquidity. They also oversee the company’s capital structure, answering critical questions like, “What is the best mix of debt, equity and internal financing for our present state?” They work closely with all parts of the business and ensure no surprises are waiting around the corner.

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3 - Strategist

However, a CFO’s responsibilities encompass even more than the past and the present. By strategising and looking forward, he or she helps to shape a company’s future as well.

Today’s CFOs provide financial leadership and align business and finance strategy, keeping actions and decisions in harmony with the company’s overall goals. By supporting long-term investments and mapping out a financial course for the future, CFOs help to steer businesses to success.

A CFO may identify and report what areas of the company are most efficient, and which are underperforming. Which areas of the business need tighter cost control or are blowing their annual budgets. They have the skills and resources to focus on parts of the business that are vital to its survival. 


4 - Catalyst

Data drives business more than ever before, and this puts the CFO in a position to drive business improvement initiatives. Using the power of the purse, CFOs can work to reduce costs, improve processes and innovate the company in ways that add value and stability.

Without a CFO’s keen insights, businesses can miss out on opportunities to tap into new markets or follow lucrative industry trends.


What If You Don’t Have a CFO?

Many (if not most) small businesses don’t have the resources to employ a full-time, experienced CFO. Business owners often go back and forth between wanting to splurge on a CFO to spur growth and wanting to save the money to keep their cash flow in check.

The good news is that you can get the services of an experienced CFO without having to pay a full-time employee’s salary. With part-time CFO services, you can have someone who fills all four of the roles mentioned above, no matter how small your company currently is.

With CFO services, your financial executive leadership will scale with you, taking on as much or as little as you desire. 

To learn more about what outsourced CFO services can do for your company, set up a consultation with one of our experienced business advisers. By talking through your goals and long-term strategy, we can build a custom solution for your company. 

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