About the EY CFO agenda

About the EY CFO agenda:

Tailored insights for a changing role

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As a CFO, you know first-hand the global business environment is more complex than ever. In that context, your role has expanded from one focused on controls, reporting and analysis – you now play a significant part in strategy.

We offer insights on the specific career journey of the CFO – from your evolving role to the specific events and experiences that you will encounter during your career. We also provide analysis and commentary on the emerging topics and challenges relevant to you.

The CFO's role

We know that your role is complex and varied. With that in mind, our insights for you are constructed around the CFO Capabilities Framework. This construct represents the six equally important segments that are core to your remit:

  • Trusting the numbers
  • Providing insight
  • Getting your house in order
  • Funding organizational strategy
  • Developing business strategy
  • Communicating to the external marketplace

1 Ensuring decisions are grounded in sound financial criteria

CFO competencies

Core skills

  • Taking a commercial view in partnership with the business
  • Identifying commercial, financial and economic risks from business propositions
  • Establishing profitability of business propositions
  • Providing robust but constructive challenge to business stakeholders
  • Communicating clearly the financial implications of proposals

Core knowledge

  • Knowledge of the organization's business
  • Detailed knowledge of products/service lines
  • Awareness of the market and commercial environment
  • Knowledge of investment appraisal
  • Knowledge around approaches to profitability analysis

Key experiences

  • Business case appraisal
  • Benefits tracking and realization
  • Experience in pricing and profitability analysis
  • Cost management
  • Planning and forecasting

Key relationships

  • Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer
  • Business unit heads
  • Heads of key support functions: Risk, IT, Operations, HR, Marketing and Sales
  • Finance business partners
  • Audit Committee

The CFO's role:

close

2 Providing insight and analysis to support senior managers

CFO competencies

Core skills

  • Communicating financial information effectively
  • Assessing drivers of profitability
  • Identifying and communicating areas of risk
  • Forecasting future performance based on knowledge of past performance
  • Identifying corrective action where required

Core knowledge

  • Knowledge of the organization's business
  • Detailed knowledge of products/service lines
  • Awareness of market trends, risks and issues
  • Knowledge of key performance indicators (KPIs) in relation to the strategic plan
  • Business performance management
  • Knowledge of competition performance

Key experiences

  • Financial planning and reporting
  • Accounting and reporting for projects and other non-recurring initiatives
  • Experience in identifying non-financial drivers of financial performance
  • Experience of identifying issues and corrective actions
  • Operating at executive level
  • Markets trends analysis

Key relationships

  • Chief Executive Officer/Chief Operating Officer
  • Business unit heads
  • Heads of key support functions: Risk, IT, Operations, HR, Marketing and Sales
  • Finance business partners
  • Strategy Director
  • Corporate Development Officer

The CFO's role:

close

3 Getting your house in order

CFO competencies

Core skills

  • Leadership skills to drive change in finance
  • Setting and communicating the vision and strategy for finance
  • Engaging with business stakeholders to determine the appropriate role for finance
  • Bringing together disparate stakeholders within finance and the business
  • Sponsoring delivery of major change in the finance function

Core knowledge

  • How finance should be organized to deliver value to the business
  • Finance processes and implications for the operating model
  • The components of the finance operating model and the interdependencies
  • Finance systems and implications for change
  • Drivers of cost and value in finance

Key experiences

  • Delivery of major change in finance
  • Finance process improvement
  • Designing changes to finance operating models
  • Involvement with delivery of finance systems
  • Engaging with internal customers around service delivery transformation

Key relationships

  • Chief executive officer
  • Business unit heads
  • Heads of key support functions: IT, Marketing, Risk, Operations, HR
  • Senior finance managers
  • Business unit finance teams

The CFO's role:

close

4 Funding, enabling and executing strategy

CFO competencies

Core skills

  • Funding the organization's operations
  • Prioritizing investments
  • Developing strategic plans to achieve corporate goals
  • Understanding the key value drivers
  • Turning strategic plans into operational plans and targets (including defining KPIs)
  • Designing the implementation program
  • Monitoring progress against strategy

Core knowledge

  • Capital management
  • Project financing
  • Financial risk management
  • Operational risk management
  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Performance management systems
  • Program management
  • Change management

Key experiences

  • Involvement in determining funding requirements
  • Securing funding for operations and major projects
  • Management of working capital
  • Implementing financial risk management strategy, e.g., interest rate, foreign exchange and market risk
  • Developing strategic plans
  • Managing large and complex improvement/change programs
  • Managing a merger or acquisition

Key relationships

  • Chief executive officer/chief operating officer
  • Business unit heads
  • Risk director
  • Operations director
  • External funding providers
  • Key investors
  • Treasurer

The CFO's role:

close

5 Developing and defining organizational strategy

CFO competencies

Core skills

  • Translating corporate goals into a clear strategy
  • Identifying financial and risk issues in relation to corporate strategy
  • Delivering a workable strategic plan within known constraints
  • Thinking creatively/conceptually strong
  • Analyzing portfolio of opportunities
  • Visionary/story-teller ability to build trust and motivate people
  • Effectively communicating financial and risk issues to C-suite colleagues
  • Providing robust financial challenge at C-suite level

Core knowledge

  • Strategic and operational planning
  • Knowledge of the organization's business
  • Detaile d knowledge of products/service lines
  • Business model design
  • Scenario planning
  • Good overview of the industry structure and challenges
  • Strategic frameworks and theory
  • Awareness of the market and commercial environment
  • Aware of industry and organization risk profile
  • Awareness of IT as an important business enabler

Key experiences

  • Strategy development
  • Development and implementation of business plans
  • Monitoring achievement of plans and targets and taking corrective actions where required
  • Operational and financial risk management
  • Product and market development

Key relationships

  • Chief executive officer
  • Chief operating officer
  • Business unit heads
  • Chief information officer
  • Risk director
  • Marketing director
  • HR director
  • Strategy director
  • Corporate development officer

The CFO's role:

close

6 Representing the organization to external stakeholders

CFO competencies

Core skills

  • Clearly communicating performance
  • Providing perspectives on performance relative to main competitors
  • Understanding main value drivers/key KPIs and initiatives to improve them
  • Communicating positively about management of key risks
  • Taking a forward looking view
  • Anticipating and responding to questions from media, analysts and investor community
  • Responding positively to issues raised by industry regulators

Core knowledge

  • The organization's business and its industry
  • The organization's products/service lines
  • The market and commercial environment
  • The impact of local, regional and global economies on financial performance
  • Technical accounting to supervise financial statements

Key experiences

  • Preparing financial information for external publication and communication to the capital markets
  • Dealing with parties external to the organization
  • Engaging with media
  • Managing relationships with external auditors
  • Managing resolution of key accounting and control issues

Key relationships

  • Chief executive officer
  • Chairman
  • Executive and non-executive boards
  • Other key governance committees (e.g., audit, remuneration)
  • External auditors
  • Media and investor relations
  • Regulators

The CFO's role:

close