Contribution of the CFO to improving economic performance

In these troubled times that seriously damage the health of companies and the nerves of leaders, it is more than necessary to keep a cool head and a clear head. The current crisis is not a financial crisis but affects the real economy which is now shrinking. It is here to stay and the welfare state cannot stay at the bedside of our economy indefinitely.

The position of CFO is an enviable professional prospect for many executives in accounting, management, and financial functions. Financial management is a key transversal function that contributes to the economic performance of the company and secures its financing. You obviously don’t start your career as a financial director, you become one as part of a professional career. The purpose of this post is to clarify the career and skills of the CFO.

Several names exist to designate the person in charge of the finance function (in the broad sense, including accounting and management control). He is appointed financial director, administrative and financial director in larger companies or even assistant general manager in charge of finance for a large group. Conversely, in smaller companies, the function is performed by an administrative and financial manager. The person in charge of finance is also sometimes called the financial controller.

An Atlanta Virtual CFO services financial director does not necessarily have a diploma of a chartered accountant. He must at least have a good understanding of the accounting choices and their challenges for the presentation of the accounts. When taking office, it is up to him to develop the missing skill

The financial director is most often selected for his technical expertise. However, it must develop know-how in terms of management, communication and leadership. In addition to the classic qualities of hierarchical management and leadership, two skills are frequently necessary:

Transversal management consists of leading a community of people who do not depend hierarchically on themselves. This situation is frequently found in finance. Examples: a financial director leads a community of subsidiary management controllers reporting hierarchically to the boss of their subsidiary. A group credit manager leads a community of decentralized credit managers, etc.

Supporting change. There is no shortage of transformation projects in the finance sphere. Thus, for the digitalization or dematerialization of document flows, the financial director will often rely on an external service provider for project management, but it is his personal responsibility to make his teams adhere to the change, which is by nature a managerial act.

Implement financial management

He implements the financial policy desired by the shareholders and also suggests one when the shareholders are not financial. Financial management obviously concerns financing choices, but not only. It also concerns all operational actions which affect both the capital employed and the result. The mission of the CFO is to ensure the medium and long term sustainability of the company and its financial performance.

Improving financial performance requires economic or operational performance. All actions to improve the return on capital employed (ROCE) sustainably improve the economic performance of an entity. They are grouped together under the name “cash culture”.

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