As the business and the market environment remain dynamic, the role of modern chief financial officer (CFO) is subject to evolve. The evolution is continuous and covers a gamut of areas, from presenting annual reports and profit numbers to customer retention and looking after the changes in business continuity.
The incorporation of crisis management with technical evaluation has increased rapidly to make the market more robust and reliable. Considering this, the CFO roles have emphasised adapting digital technology to promote productivity and efficiency.
Let's talk about the emerging CFO roles in modern-day financial markets and how it has been helping immensely in the field of financial leadership.
Who is a CFO?
A CFO or a chief financial officer is a top-level executive of an organisation. They are solely responsible for managing the company's financial actions. The duties include tracking cash flows, supervising the company's financial planning, and analysing its strengths and weaknesses. CFOs propose corrective actions to improve organisational standards by going through this analysis.
What are the changing roles of a modern CFO?
Besides playing the financial leadership role, a modern-day CFO is primarily responsible for capital budgeting. However, the secondary functions of a CFO are subject to change constantly. Let's see what they are:
- Building the right executive team: Modern CFOs are involved in every operation of the company. Be it sales, marketing, or development, CFOs are responsible for overseeing and understanding financial implications. Thus, establishing a strong executive team helps a CFO control the areas of business expertise.
- Ensuring books are audit-ready: Since the market demands speed, transparency and accuracy, companies' stakeholders expect the same for the business' operational results. Hence, a CFO would be responsible for expanding his/her executive team alongside accounting teams and experienced staff members to ensure the authenticity and transparency of audits.
- Creating a convincing business case before going public: The role of a modern CFO is to be analytical and critical about different alternatives, which will help the management decide whether going public is feasible for the company's image. A CFO ensures that the company has a proper strategic operations partner before going public.
Significance of the changing roles of CFO
The roles of a CFO have changed substantially over the years. According to the Wall Street Journal and Deloitte, CFOs have adopted skills akin to actuaries.
Let's look at the impact of a CFO’s changing roles:
1. Effective decision-making
One of the key responsibilities of a CFO is to make sovereign decisions keeping in mind the rapid changes in market conditions. CFOs must take informed and concise decisions that adhere to the company's goals and market conditions. In a constantly evolving landscape, CFOs must have determination and self-assurance to make the most challenging decision and stand their ground.
2. Agility and resistance
CFOs must be confident about their decisions. The decision-making procedure is solely dependent upon the changing market conditions and making the right call during the time of need. The changing dynamics of a CFO’s role have made it essential for these financial leaders to monitor the market conditions closely. They must adhere to methods to change courses and preserve financial stability to bring massive success to the business.
3. Curious re-evaluation
Curiosity is a must-have quality of a CFO. Further, a CFO must constantly ask questions related to procedures, challenges and personnel. This agile mindset would further guard against any discrepancy and show the eagerness to explore different methods to get stable results and predict the future by mitigating risks.
4. Imagination and a transformative model
Imagination is one of the key components for CFOs to bring transformation to an organisation. Curiosity and imagination go hand-in-hand when constantly re-evaluating personnel, procedures and technology to keep up with the market changes. It also entails the willingness to ask oneself questions about any situation and prepare to make changes necessary to stay on track.
The evolution of the roles of a CFO has a profound impact on an organisation’s success. The agile mindset of the CFOs promotes robust decision-making practices to facilitate the company's growth.
If your goal is to round out the skills of a CFO, then check out Imarticus Learning's Postgraduate Certificate Programme for Emerging CFOs by IIT Indore. With this programme, you can master new-age financial skills through live online and on-campus training.