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Are You a Catalyst CFO? – Becoming a Full Stack CFO

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There is no better person to drive change across an organization than the CFO.

This article is part 4 of a 5-part series focused on Becoming a Full Stack CFO.

CFOs bring deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of business operations to their job every day, and this knowledge make them the prime candidate to decide where their business should go next.

After all – in order to effectively map out where you can go next, you need to have a firm understanding of where you are standing right now. Nobody has a better understanding of where a business currently stands than the CFO.

Then why aren’t CFOs driving more change in their organizations?

In spite of this unrivaled potential to effectively map out the future, the teams CFOs preside over are still mired in the stone age of tedious tasks and manual processes. In fact, 80% of FP&A team’s time is spent in manual data gathering, consolidation, and formatting.

While CFOs are traditionally thought of as the perennial scorekeeper for their business, this outdated perception is holding them back from putting points on the board and actually adding to that score themselves.

CFOs are poised to catalyze change within their own teams and across organizations, and will start as soon as they step out of their traditional job description and adopt a forward-thinking approach that complements their team’s vast base of historical data.

Here are the core priorities of today’s future-oriented Catalyst CFO:

Do you recognize opportunities to optimize?

You know your business’s KPIs inside and out, and you know how well your business stacks up to them. But do you know how to approach KPIs more effectively?

This third school of thought is a natural extension from the previous two, and makes a lot of sense for CFOs to adopt as part of their day-to-day role.

Seeking out and recognizing opportunities to optimize will also prove to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you do it, the more time you will get back to continue doing it.

Are you making full use of the tools at your behest?

CFOs have been slow to embrace change. According to Marsh, 24% of businesses have not yet adopted any disruptive technology, and 46% are leveraging just 1-3 disruptive technologies.

When it comes to creating efficiency to drive change, of course disruptive tech is going to be a CFOs best friend. So what’s with the hesitation?

Getting started with exploring new efficiency technology to invest in can be daunting, but the good news is that your team of employees is most likely just as motivated as you to simplify and eliminate arduous manual processes.

Are you empowering others to recognize and drive toward opportunities for improvement?

A Catalyst CFO is not the sole source of change in their company. Rather, they are the champion of a culture that encourages everyone to look for opportunities to create positive change.

You’re still the ultimate decision maker on what changes and what stays the same, but incentivizing employees to bring fresh ideas can go a long way, and providing thoughtful feedback on why those ideas are on/off track can go even further.

To learn about the other roles that define a Full Stack CFO, read the Whitepaper Becoming a Full Stack CFO.

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