How the CFO can deliver Competitive Advantage

March 20, 2015

The part-time CFO position is rapidly evolving into a crucial role with startups, small- and medium-sized (SMB) companies in all industries.  Today’s CFO is not a glorified accountant but a combination of strategic, financial, and operational insights and results in order to help grow the company profitably.

 

This article by http://www.thecsuite.co.uk articulates why the modern CFO is now a crucial source of a company’s competitive advantage.  In our work with a variety of private companies and startups here in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, we focus on all of these key areas:

 

  • Creating competitive advantage through change

 

“Today’s CFOs need to be catalysts for change, helping to engineer a shift in company DNA and embedding a culture that is responsive to change and new ideas…. This requires vision, experience and skilled judgment, but CFOs who can use the finance function to accelerate strategic growth and drive change, not just within finance, but across their business, can create a major competitive advantage.”

 

  • The need for speed

 

“The most agile start-ups and would-be market disruptors are free from the inertia of corporate structures and legacy systems; they have easy access to technology and the potential to address a global audience overnight.”

 

  • The end of the beginning

 

“Today’s CFOs are business leaders first, and leaders of the finance function second.

An effective CFO has always been the lynchpin in a business, but the CFOs of the future will need to combine their robust financial skills and experience with an appetite for controlled risk, superlative communication skills and the confidence and ambition to drive the business forward.”

 

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