Earlier this summer we had a great deal of interest in a newsletter we sent out on keys to success for CFO’s. As the article was sent around the 4th of July, we know there were many people on vacation who may have missed the chance to read it. If you have already seen the newsletter, we apologize. If you have not had the chance to look through it and are interested in the material, it is attached below.
Keep Your CFO Job – Ten Keys to Success
By Allan Tepper, Co-founder and Senior Managing Partner, CFO Consulting Partners LLC
CFO Consulting Partners “fixes” broken Accounting and Finance functions. I am often asked what critical elements are needed for CFO success. Being a CFO is one of the most important, yet short-lived jobs in corporate America. Many publications list the average tenure for a CFO at just 3 to 5 years. This turnover is due to many reasons, but at least some relate to how the CFO is perceived by the CEO and peers of the CFO.
To help the CFO evaluate his or her chances of long-term success, I have developed the following ten questions. While there are no guarantees, a good number of YES answers may be an indication of longevity with one’s present company.
- Are you an active and respected member of your Senior Management Team?
- Can you/do you talk frequently and fluently to the senior management team about the key drivers of your business (i.e. volumes, ratios, pricing, etc.), and about the external variables affecting the business (i.e. about the economy, and the industry trends, the competitors, the risks, etc.)?
- Is your department adequately staffed with high quality people, and is the staff viewed as efficient and internally client driven?
- When you report bad news, are you criticized? Have you put practices in place to identify and mitigate risks, so that when bad news happens, it is reported as one of the identified risks that went south?”
- Is your day-to-day department well managed? Do you provide your services quickly and in a quality manner? Is your own office neat and well organized? Do you consistently work more than 10 hour days?
- Do you feel more like a guiding light to growth and profitability than a policeman in your company?
- Do you or your Senior Management Team ever lose track of the fact that internal and external customer satisfaction is Job Number 1?
- Would your boss would say you think like a businessperson – growth, profitability, ROE, empowerment, motivation, a prudent amount of risk taking, etc.? Would they say you strike the right balance between the big picture and the details?
- Have you implemented a sound planning, budgeting and forecasting process? If so, do you have monthly or quarterly meetings with the profit center leaders to review results and identify risks?
- Is your audit completed within three months after the end of your fiscal year?