A recent survey of more than 500 global executives reveals that the CFO will increasingly become the most important business partner of the CEO. The survey results confirm that the CFO needs to become a jack-of-all trades or “renaissance” CFO. While the survey targeted global executives from companies with more than $500 million in revenues, the results are still very relevant to small- and mid-size businesses (SMBs) here in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
According to the survey, the top 5 personal attributes for a CFO are:
Attention to detail and processes
Ability to execute
Ability to deal with shareholders/ investors / analysts
Big-picture thinking and strategic approach
This excerpt highlights the increasing role CFOs play in driving growth and strategy:
“The CEO respondents all highlight how the strategic acumen of their CFO has been pivotal in the development of business wide strategy. The key factor CEOs rank is putting performance and growth first at 35%, followed by governance at 30%. Driving efficiency and value comes in third at 16%.... When it comes to explaining how CFOs can use financial information to strengthen the alignment between financial planning and strategy, three words come up consistently: translate, interpret and communicate.”