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Are You an Operations-Minded CFO? – Becoming a Full Stack CFO

CFO planning projects

Over 40% of business projects are missing their deadlines and budget targets.  

This article is the fifth and final part of the 5-part series focused on Becoming a Full Stack CFO.

According to the 2018 Pulse of the Profession, 43 percent of business projects are not completed within budget, and nearly half (48 percent) are not completed on time.

As a result, around one out of three business projects fall short of their goals.

These numbers are truly staggering.

While project management duties may not seem related to the day-to-day of a CFO, the truth is that Operations-Minded CFOs bring both the necessary perspective and skill set to drive higher project implementation success rates.

As companies report engaging executive leadership on just 38% of projects, it’s clear that CFOs should be more involved. And with $1 million reported to be wasted collectively by organizations across the globe every 20 seconds, companies actually stand to gain a lot by incorporating Operations-Minded CFOs into project planning and execution.

Here are three questions an Operations-Minded CFO should consider while attacking inefficiencies across their organizations:

Am I getting the most out of my company’s human capital?

Not only is human capital one of the largest sources of overhead for your organization, but it is also the key to smooth operations.

Sound business plans can quickly get derailed by employee turnover, and even the most highly-motivated executive team will struggle to accomplish anything with an apathetic staff.

For these reasons, it’s critical that human capital is managed as the key component to business operations that it truly is. Establishing a culture that promotes employee longevity with the company is a good starting point. And consistently rewarding employees for meeting project deadlines and goals will encourage future success.     

Are there any operating procedures that can be made more efficient?

While middle management may have confidence that they are operating at maximum capacity, sometimes it takes a higher-level perspective to recognize inefficiencies embedded within the ways teams are operating.

For this reason, it’s important for Operations-Minded CFOs to work with department heads to keep track of department goals while continually evaluating the processes in place to achieve them.  

Accounts payable is an example of a business process that has been stuck in the stone ages of operating, as mailing paper checks and juggling dozens of email approval email threads is accepted as the status quo. Meanwhile, accounts payable automation solutions are enabling accounting teams to get 64 hours back every month to rededicate to other value-added initiatives.

Am I anticipating change from both within and outside of the company?

Industry disruption looms over every company, and there’s no way to foresee events within and outside of companies that can radically shift priorities.

However, Operations-Minded CFOs can anticipate change by maintaining a strong understanding of their company’s mission critical processes and keeping up with trends across the industry that can potentially impact them.

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

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