What Today’s CFO Looks Like

The pandemic pushed the CFO’s strategic objectives to the forefront. The CFO isn’t changing their role—they’re broadening it. The most critical questions a modern CFO should ask are how can my company grow and scale successfully? How do I retain a happy, successful finance team? And, what is the right technology to implement for our business?

Emerging from a number cruncher job, the CFO is now a strategic partner across the organization. As a leader in the digital world, CFOs utilize data, technology, and emotional intelligence to help grow the business successfully. They work closely with their lean finance team and collaborate with peers within the company. By modernizing their workflow processes, they’re achieving strategic objectives. 

Data Drives the CFO

Today, meaningful data is at the CFO’s fingertips. Access to valuable information facilitates rapid decision-making. Data enables the enterprise to review historical context and utilize statistics to grow effectively. By providing insights on cash flow, risk reporting, and workflow complexities, data improve how companies react to the market and help businesses meet their goals.

The strategic CFO pinpoints areas of opportunities within the company. They use data as a way for the finance function to provide value across the organization. And they collaborate with other leaders within the business to make decisions based on that data. 

Collaborative Leaders Ensure Company Success

CFOs are emerging from their back-office roles and evolving into valued strategists. Modern finance leaders are spending time with peers to broaden their connections and expand their thinking around the broadening role of finance. And they’re building out a team that supports that breadth of activity. 

The CFO is a critical player in the organization. On top of budgeting, forecasting, and strategic planning, they’re inserting themselves into transformational projects. They’re collaborating with sales and marketing teams to remain competitive as they scale.

Technology is the Name of The Game

According to a McKinsey study, companies that make minor, incremental modifications are less likely to grow. But companies that are embracing robust upgrades to their workflow processes can effectively scale. Successful finance leaders rely on automation, data analytics, and integration tools to scale their growing operations. 

The CFO’s job is to understand the most effective technology and which solution is the best for their business. Instead of tinkering with technology and making minor changes to their processes, they implement a robust tech stack that improves processes across the company. There is a solution for every workflow complexity and process, allowing the CFO to improve all finance functions. 

The CFO’s Lean Team

According to a report by Gartner, 93% of financial leaders are aligned on their vision for the financial function. They expect the function to be data-driven and lean, with few employees. In the same study, 39% thought that digital transformation efforts brought value to the finance function. 

If leaders don’t welcome transformations, they might miss out on growth opportunities. Successful companies know that to reach their goals, they need to implement the right technology that meets their needs long-term.

Emotional Intelligence is the New Bean-Counter

CFOs have always relied on numbers and analysis. Now, finance leaders should be embracing soft skills as well. From CEO to CFO, successful executive leaders should have a high emotional IQ. Emotional intelligence is becoming more critical in leadership, and teams achieve more with this mindset.

It’s an important testament for a leader to behave and act as a key representation of the company. By enlisting communications and leadership coaches to achieve influential leadership positions, CFOs should never stop learning and developing throughout their entire careers.

The Modern CFO 

CFOs are professional problem solvers—they solve pain points as the company grows. They fix current problems and forecast potential complexities. They choose technology that eliminates pain points for today and the years ahead.

The CFO is stepping up to be an agent of change in the digital era. These CFOs see the end game, and they have a roadmap to success.

How CFOs View the Evolving Expectations of their Role

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