In today’s business world, the job of a CFO is not simply to keep track of a company’s cash-flow but also to find ways of improving it. The CFO analyses accounts and contracts, identifies those which are reaping returns, those that could reap better returns and those which should be pruned. In other words, the modern CFO is not just a “bean counter” but a “bean grower,” as well.
Although the CEO may be in charge of drawing up the big picture, a good CFO helps establish its strategic foundation. This is done by providing crucial financial knowledge, advice and experience. A good CFO, for example, may recommend a best mix of products for improved revenue, provide skillful management of invoices and accounts payable to optimize cash-flow or leverage professional connections to open up business opportunities.
How can you determine if someone will be a “bean-growing” CFO? Here are some questions to ask yourself when considering a CFO candidate.
– How much experience – real-life, financial experience – does this person have?
– Has this experience produced industry connections that can be capitalized upon?
– Can this person think strategically and communicate in everyday language? More to the point, can he or she formulate a business plan and explain it to others without relying on complex, financial jargon?
– Does this person truly understand what it takes for a business to succeed?
– And, will this person be a motivated-yet-pleasant team player?
None of this is to say that good old-fashioned bean counting isn’t important or is less important. The skill-set of a good bean counter CFO is an unquestionable prerequisite.
– Does this person have strong financial or accounting qualifications?
– Is he or she a member of a professional accounting body?
– Has he or she served as a CFO before?
Making sure the candidate you choose meets all of these requirements is a daunting task. But it’s exactly the sort of thing we specialize in at the CFO Centre. Every CFO we recruit more than fulfills these key expectations, and we are experts at matching the right people, having the right skill-sets and experience, with the right organizations. Feel free to contact the CFO Centre to see how we can help your organization optimize and enhance its cash-flow for a better bottom line.