Today’s CFOs are under more pressure than ever. Economic uncertainty, increased regulatory requirements, financial restatements and increased investor scrutiny have forced them into the spotlight. At the same time, they face continuous pressure to cut costs, grow revenue, and ensure controls. It’s no wonder that CFO turnover is on the rise and the role is under greater scrutiny, internally and externally.
One reason the CFO’s job is so fraught with challenge is because it is really four jobs in one. We call these distinct roles the “four faces” of the CFO. The first role is that of steward: preserving the assets of the organization by minimizing risk and getting the books right. The second is operator: conducting basic finance operations efficiently and effectively. The third is strategist: influencing the company’s overall direction. And fourth is that of catalyst: instilling a financial mindset to execution and risk-taking throughout the business. Here you will find insight into the challenges CFOs encounter in each of these four roles.
|Q1 2013 Global CFO Signals
Given this current window of financial and economic “stability,” CFOs finally have the comfort level to pursue expansionary tactics—as well as long memories to remind them to remain vigilant.
|Q4 2012 Global CFO Signals
To say that 2012 was a difficult year for CFOs around the globe is an understatement. Judging from the results of the latest Global CFO Signals, however, Q4 may mark a turning point. But, will 2013 be the year CFOs finally signal strong optimism about their companies’– and their countries’– prospects?
|Q3 2012 Global CFO Signals
One of the major uncertainties facing CFOs globally – the outcome of the presidential election in the United States – may have been resolved. But that was not the case when CFOs were filling out their third-quarter CFO surveys.
|Q2 2012 Global CFO Signals
What a difference a quarter makes. If it looked like CFOs globally shook some of their gloom in the first quarter of 2012, that may have been an illusion. Pessimism is back again — in force. In fact, CFO optimism has decreased markedly in the majority of countries that track this sentiment since their last surveys.
|Q1 2012 Global CFO Signals
Things are looking up all over. Well almost. In the first quarter of 2012, many CFOs globally seem to have shaken much of the gloom displayed at the end of last year and seem poised to pursue that growth that has eluded them for several quarters. In fact, in this issue, CFO optimism has improved in the majority of countries that measure that sentiment since their last surveys.
|Babies, bathwater, and best practices
In our experience, most organizations today don't have to dig very deep to find people who are frustrated with planning, budgeting, and forecasting. You might even be one of them. And yet, it's possible to use that frustration to uncover clues about what may not be working. Time-consuming manual processes. Endless budget iterations. Wasted technology. Conflicting goals. Poor decision-making. These are the things you could easily do without. It may be time to rethink your approach.
|A tale of two capital markets
The credit crisis of 2008 and the volatile post-crisis environment create “a tale of two capital markets” for businesses today. The resulting call to action: new conversations between Boards, CEOs, and CFOs to frame capitalization and strategy playbooks in the emerging marketplace.