There is a saying in our trade: “When you’re doing well, you do an IPO. When you’re doing badly, you need a great CEO. And when you’re desperate, you turn to the CFO.” In effect, the CFO is the steersman for a company’s efficiency and productivity, and is a stimulant when the company starts to show weakness.
4. Be a multi-tasker
CFOs must have proper knowledge of the financial market and of management, accounting and tax laws. But this is not all. Nowadays, they must also possess business knowledge and market awareness, and be skilled in negotiation and communication techniques. In the future, they will also be expected to play multiple roles in finance and operations. This means that whoever holds this position should understand the business operation as much as financial affairs.
Meanwhile, financial management needs to continue to develop and change as required by corporate management. In turn, CFOs must keep learning and updating their knowledge in accounting and finance, because financial management and control will evolve in line with the changes to corporate management. Financial activities have also transformed from transaction processing to analyzing, internal control, risk management and other matters supporting decision-making. CFOs therefore need to improve their learning in order to keep up with the changing workplace.
5. Mine your data
There is a Zen proverb: “Every wall is essentially an entrance.” Under the old idea of financial management and disclosure, an invisible wall used to exist between financial information and practical business. But this wall is being broken through, and more doors will be created. Data will become more inclusive, which will bring innovation in interactive experience and drive reforms in finance. Employees will be more self-driven, risk control will benefit from better predictive capabilities, and data will benefit everyone. During this transformation, it is vital to find new positions and roles for everyone in the team.