A recent article in CFO World UK (The bottom line on time management) got me thinking about CFOs and Personal Assistants (PAs).
Personal Assistants (formerly known as secretaries) used to be standard for senior level executives in companies of all sizes. With the advent and proliferation of computers and personal devices to assist with communications and scheduling, many executives have taken control of their own agenda and their own communication methods.
So the questions that need to be asked in the current world we live in are:
- Does a CFO need a PA? [polldaddy poll=5451855]
- If a CFO needs a PA, why? [Share your comments below]
Jeff Bata says
As a generalization, I think its valuable for a CFO to have PA support to keep them organized, on time & task and fulfill a variety of administrative duties so CFO’s can stay focused on what they need to. However, depending on certain factors such size of company, organization dynamics, culture, etc it can be very efficent and effective for PA’s to be shared. I have worked in company’s where PA’s supported 2-4 executives including the CFO, and it worked well. The best solution really depends….one size does not fit all in this case.
John Kendrick says
I agree with the previous post — one size does not fit all. Currently, I don’t use a personal assistant. Personal assistants have worked well for me when I’ve been traveling a significant amount. In the office, not so much. I agree that now a shared approach can work well. I haven’t used a virtual assistant yet, but I’ve been thinking about engaging one for both personal and business organization purposes. I’m all for off-loading the routine/mundane tasks in a cost-effective manner, so the shared/virtual approach is probably best.
Samuel Dergel says
John & Jeff
What I have heard from CFOs is that a PA makes sense if the workload requires it and the budget is available. It also helps if other company executives have a PA as well.
Thanks for your input.
Rich Waksman says
I also agree with the above comments. I was recently CFO of a large college and required a P.A. to keep track of a very busy calendar and help communicate many correspondences with Board members and Board committees. It may not have been a full time position and when my controller was local, I shared her. When we were in different town, I kept her to myself.
I am now CFO of a smaller non-profit and do not require a P.A.