For Chief Financial Officers: 10 Ways To Improve Strategic Planning Before It's Too Late

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A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a higher executive of a company who has to manage the finances of the company and make budgetary decisions. It involves huge strategic planning. The strategic finance course by Imarticus will allow you to gain appropriate knowledge to be fit for such a position. Read along to know how strategic planning can be improved.

Outline expectations

A CFO has to clearly define the financial position of the company to the other stakeholders to avoid derailing from the process. The outline will define the clear task and responsibilities for each personnel, especially concerning the budgetary functions. 

Build transparency in the reporting order

It is the prime duty of a CFO to analyse and go through the balance sheet of the organisation. Without going through this process, a CFO will not be able to understand why the working capital performance of a company is poor. Strategic planning in improving the working capital will help the finances of the company get better. 

Set the right goals and targets

A CFO has to unanimously decide with other stakeholders the right objectives and targets that the organisation wants to achieve in the coming accounting year. Such as the sales teams want to make higher sales whereas the finance team wants to maintain low inventories. A CFO assures that the sales of the company are not lowered and the cost of operation and other expenses of the company do not exceed the pre-decided budget.

Train and up-skill your staff to improve performance

The employees of the company must be completely trained and up-skilled so that they can use the working capital of the company in the best possible ways. Also empower the trained staff so that they can carry out their job without much intervention. A CFO is responsible for making the whole operation process effective and efficient.

Choose best practices and abide by guidelines

Best practices for the company should be chosen and applied. Guidelines of the company should be clear, simple, and consistently followed so that any discrepancy does not creep in. Lean principles should be used in standardised work for constant improvement. A CFO builds these best practices that should be followed in the company. 

Make it a topic of management

It is better to anchor the working capital at the utmost level. A CFO should sponsor the central working capacity for performing the function of finance and controlling. A CFO can also hire experienced and knowledgeable employees for managing the working capital in the company.

Implement proper communication without hindrance

Facilitate the right sense of communication within the organisation. Communicate the tasks, responsibilities, and capabilities of the people. A CFO should be direct and exact in his communication. Also, it is the responsibility of the CFO to build a chain of communication with transparency. Accurate information should be reported within the hierarchy so that it can be noted and proper communication remains intact. A CFO also has to maintain the chain of communication as a disciplinary aspect.

Create a reasonable timeline

A reasonable timeline should be constructed to complete these strategic plans and further move through the process. Some plans can be done within a short time span such as 3 to 4 weeks whereas some plans may take months. It depends upon the type of strategic plan that is being implemented in the company. A CFO should make sure that no extra time is devoted to the minor tasks and that the major tasks are provided with sufficient time.

Gather inputs for your strategic plan

Gathering inputs for implementing a strategic plan is an integral part of the operational process. Inputs are of two types — internal and external. It is the responsibility of a CFO to gather and analyse both internal and external inputs. Internal inputs are the information that has been gathered from within the organisation whereas external inputs are gathered from outside the organisation. 

Match your action with your vision

Throughout the year, a CFO with his team acts and strives to achieve the vision they have seen for the year. It is to be made sure by a CFO that they converted the vision into reality with their actions.

If you aspire to become a new-age CFO and strive to learn more about strategic planning and strategic finances then the chief financial officer course (Postgraduate Certificate Programme For Emerging CFOs) can increase your skills. In this way, you will have better prospects of getting placed in a company and you will also have the required knowledge of dealing with the working capital of an organisation.

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