Are You a Strategist CFO? – Becoming a Full Stack CFO
“We’re getting to the point where the future role of the CFO resembles that of a data scientist more so than that of an accountant.”
This article is part 2 of a 5-part series focused on Becoming a Full Stack CFO.
Regardless of how you interpret the above excerpt from Forbes, one thing is clear:
The role of CFO is becoming more strategic than ever before.
In fact, more than 90% of CFOs are saying that they need to do more with the financial and operations data at hand to help top management make critical decisions. With this data, CFOs can help make decisions that move the entire company forward and create points of differentiation against competing brands. Here are the two key priorities of today’s data-driven Strategist CFO:
Are you a thinking proactively as a company?
A key component to a Strategist CFO is a future-oriented mindset.
Every single time you spend money, you are presented with an opportunity to either consider or ignore the future of your business. Even things as simple as team efficiency tools can carry lasting implications on the future of your company.
Whether you are structuring a leasing model or working with your sales team to host customer and prospect events, consulting historical data can provide a tremendous level of insight into which decisions will provide the best future outcome for your company.
It can feel like your days are comprised of hundreds of decisions that need to be made in rapid succession, making it impossible to have time for you to analyze each one – and that’s true. This is where leadership and discipline come into play.
Establishing core objectives for your business on data utilization in the decision-making process, building data feedback processes that support every level of decision making, engaging other leaders across the business for support, and continuously promoting this shift in culture is the most surefire way to build a forward-thinking company.
Do you assess risks effectively?
In every business, hundreds of exciting new ideas are born every day. While all of them may have their merits, many prove to be mistaken.
As a Strategist CFO, it is your job to be the voice of reason every single time an idea is brought to the table. Utilizing your thorough understanding of how your business is organized and all of the different ways it can become more profitable, you can quickly weigh the risks of a proposition up against the reward.
In addition to knowing the structure and paths to increased profitability for you company like the back of your hand, you must also have a complete understanding of the legal ramifications behind every decision as well.
Skills for effectively assessing risks are built primarily through the education that only time and experience can afford, so prepare for a long journey of continuous learning.