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Summit Insights
May, 23

Beyond Numbers: 3 Qualities Your CFO Should Bring to the Table


As the owner of a small to medium-sized business, you recognize the vital role a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) plays in your organization. Gone are the days when CFOs were simply gatekeepers of financial information. Today's CFOs wear many hats - they are strategists, innovators, and most importantly, leaders. Drawing on insights from a comprehensive study by EY Organization and the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School study, we've identified three key qualities your CFO should embody to help you successfully navigate your business through its growth and transformation journey.

Three key qualities a great CFO brings to the table:

  1.  Strong Leadership

    Your CFO needs to be more than just financially savvy; they should exhibit strong, empathetic, and authentic leadership. This approach is essential for building alignment around your company's financial vision and creating a narrative that resonates with your entire team.

    Remember, change affects everyone in your organization differently. Your CFO should always prioritize the human element of change, focusing not just on company milestones, but also on the individual journeys of your employees.

    Inclusivity is a critical part of strong leadership. Your CFO should be capable of influencing and aligning stakeholders of all backgrounds, anticipating cynicism, and steering themselves and their teams through periods of uncertainty.

  2. Commitment to Innovation

    In today's fast-paced business landscape, your CFO needs to be empowering, encouraging creativity and innovation throughout the organization. They should foster an environment where decision-making is delegated, and employees feel a sense of ownership.

    An empowering CFO also fosters a culture where failure is seen as an opportunity to learn, rather than a setback. This encourages risk-taking and innovation, which are essential for your business's growth and competitiveness.

  3. Collaborative Spirit

    The most effective CFOs genuinely care about their teams. They create a supportive environment where everyone feels heard and valued. If your employees don't feel that their ideas and opinions matter, there's a disconnect, which can impact morale and productivity.

    Your CFO should be a champion of collaboration. They need to break down silos and foster a cross-discipline approach, bringing fresh perspectives to the table. Everyone involved in any transformation process should feel empowered to reimagine processes and take ownership.

    Collaboration also means working closely with other departments and understanding their challenges and goals. This promotes a sense of unity within your organization and helps identify areas of synergy and opportunities for improvement.

A Strong CFO Drives Transformation and Growth in Your Business

In conclusion, your CFO's role is pivotal to your business's success. A CFO with strong leadership, a caring approach, an empowering attitude, and a collaborative spirit can significantly contribute to your company's growth and transformation journey. As a business owner, these are the qualities you should seek in your CFO to ensure your company's financial health and overall success.

CFOs aren't just for large corporations - small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from the strategic guidance of a CFO. Fractional CFO providers, like FocusCFO, provide experienced CFOs on a schedule and budget that work for your business. To learn more, schedule a complimentary consultation.