What value does the Chief Financial Officer bring to the company they work for? According to recent research by American Express, CFOs around the globe believe they are:
- Seeing an increase in influence at their companies, and
- Have more input than ever on improving their company’s ability to deliver value to customer.
CFOs also believe that they need to improve their skills in many areas, including some that are not thought of as “finance skills” such as:
- Strategic thinking
- Internal alliance builder
- Conflict resolution
- Global business acumen, and
- Logistics acumen
It is nice to see that CFOs are more positive and upbeat on the value that they bring to their companies. I am a big believer in the value that a CFO can bring to the company they work for. I am also a big supporter for CFOs developing themselves further to meet the real needs of the people they work for.
The question I have is this: Are CFOs really adding value in their environment over and above what is expected in Finance? Maybe. The actual reality is not the perception that CFOs have of themselves, it is the perception that the people that CFOs report to that is most important.
Perception is reality. The perception of the people that CFOs work for is the reality that really matters.
(Note to readers: I apologize for my absence on this blog for the past months. While my CFO Moves blog has been delivering every Monday morning like clockwork, I have been spending a significant amount of time recently on my upcoming book, Guide to CFO Success: Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionals. I am now in the production process with my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, and I’m looking forward to your feedback when the book is released in March 2014. Hopefully I will get to meet you in person as I speak at conferences and events in 2014. If you’d like to have me discuss my book at your local CFO event, ask the organizers to reach out to me to see if I’m available.)