CFO career journey

What investors are looking for from the CFO

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What investors are looking for

The cornerstone of building trust with investors is excellent financial reporting – clean, clear, consistent and comprehensive information. Investors expect more than statutory or compliant reporting. Indeed, this alone is a sign of a lack of transparency.

They demand metrics which are broader than just the financials and a forward, realistic view of company performance. In short, investors expect a joined-up story – linking company strategy, financial performance, risk management and operational effectiveness.

  • Keep it simple: numbers should be clean and clear, without error. They should be consistent year to year, preferably adopting conservative accounting policies
  • Demonstrate how capital is managed
  • Go beyond the statutory reporting and provide a comprehensive and well-presented description of the business
  • Join up the different aspects of reporting to create a wide view of the business
  • Provide the non-financial KPIs that support past and future performance delivery
  • Focus on the future: short-term returns are important but not at the expense of delivering on the longer-term plan
  • Detail how the business manages risk
  • Demonstrate an awareness of wider stakeholders – employees and customers
  • Be proactive, timely and front experienced people, such as the CFO, who can explain as well as disclose
  • Build trust in the quality of the finance team – give them the opportunity to demonstrate understanding, experience and capability
  • Ensure leadership demonstrates integrity at all times

This article was excerpted from The DNA of the CFO.