CFOs Must Boost Confidence of Stakeholders
Unfolding in today's modern organization is the ever-changing role of the CFO.
Individuals in this role are assuming more responsibility in several areas of the business, raising the bar for the required skill set and knowledge base the CFO needs to successfully guide its business to the top. Among the major adjustments in recent years is the level of influence CFOs have on business strategy.
In a recent study more than 70 percent of CFOs say that their overall level of strategic influence has increased over the past three years.1
With a higher level of influence on business strategy, CFOs are tuning in more than ever to external business activity. Regulatory compliance and several business factors independent of in-house operations have significant influence on driving future business activity.
In a study conducted by Ernst & Young regarding the measurement of CFO personal success,
...transparent reporting of key business initiatives, risk management, regulatory compliance and improvements in financial metrics builds confidence with stakeholders and provides the investment community with insights into the organization's values and ethical standing.2
Set in a volatile and unreliable economic environment, it's critical that CFOs provide the utmost value to stakeholders, keeping pulse on current and future-looking activity to withstand fluctuations among industry, economy, policy, and regulatory compliance.
In order to manage stability and resilience, quality information to educate CFOs and stakeholders is pivotal to decision-making. In a recent Deloitte study, nearly 85 percent of respondents said providing strategic support is a top-three priority for business support.3
How can CFOs ensure they are providing top-notch strategic support to gain the confidence of executives and key stakeholders?
Process improvements which result in better, faster, and more reliable information is key. By adopting technology that fits today's work environment, finance and accounting teams can assure peers and management that information is accurate and true.
To advance the relationship with executive managers and stakeholders, CFOs must be the hero among management and lead their team to the next level of reliable business information.
Easy implementation, team collaboration, accurate data, and cutting out manual processes are just a few means to improve efficiency. Providing time for analysis will result in sharper business strategies built on a solid foundation of processes built for fast-moving work environments.
1"The CFO as Catalyst for Change: How finance can take the lead in business transformation." (2013). Accenture, Oracle, and Longitude Research. Retrieved from https://www.accenture.com/t20150522T061601__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/Accentur...
2"The DNA of the CFO: an EY study of what makes a chief financial officer." (2010). EY. Retrieved from http://www.ey.com/GL/en/Issues/Managing-finance/The-DNA-of-the-CFO--an-E...
3"What North America's top finance executives are thinking — and doing." (2013). Deloitte Development LLC. Retrieved from http://deloitte.wsj.com/cfo/files/2013/03/Signals_1Q13_highlevel.pdf
About the Author
Andy Klopstad is a Director of Product Marketing at Workiva. He has over 19 years of experience with product marketing and international business.