Most firms treat their Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as an uber-accountant, tracking financials or acting as a controller instead of acting as what they should be - a strategic asset. Using your CFO wisely can help the company make sound strategic decisions based on their financial analysis acumen and management expertise. Rather than just limiting them to delivering balance sheets, income statements and cash-flow reports, you should use your CFO to assist you in four key areas.
Do The Books
After going through how you should use your CFO for other than just keeping the books, they do still have to keep the books. It is their primary role and the financial records of the company have to be in order. But this is just the beginning of the CFO’s duties and skills. The books, the numbers, are the basis for all your financial decisions and business decisions. Company accounting functions are not the end, but the means to an end.
Create and Share The Data
To make good business decisions, companies need good, timely data compiled in a way that is useful and understandable. The CFO also has to be there to explain the data, work through the numbers, and provide the potential financial results and implications of various decisions. CFOs must develop good metrics for benchmarking performance of not only your company, but your competitors and the industry as a whole. This data has to be tracked, correlated, analyzed, and reported month-to-month and year-to-year. A good CFO can help you spot weaknesses to be corrected and trends to be exploited.
Your company’s regulatory filings must be addressed, including filing and paying taxes, and much of it revolves around your financial reporting. Your CFO has the primary responsibility for handling private or public reporting, Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance, and preventing potential fraud.
Assistance to Management
The CFO can be a great tool for assisting internal managers who need data to make day-to-day decisions on pricing, budgets, overhead, or customer values. By providing direct input to line managers, they can properly orient their marketing, sales, and operational efforts to maximize revenue, profitability, and growth.
Many CFOs may not be used to doing all of these duties. Help is available through the use of outside CFO services from firms such as CustomOne CFO & Controllers. Their financial professionals can supplement and provide guidance to internal CFOs as they get more involved in these functions. If you don’t have a CFO, you can contract for these services with CustomOne CFO & Controllers. They will get the assistance you need to get the most strategic value from your CFO position.