Newsletter – December 2011

Eight Keys to Being a Successful CFO

CFO Consulting Partners is often retained to provide interim and fractional CFO services, or as consultants to CFOs for senior level projects. During these engagements, I am often asked, what critical elements, or success factors, are needed for CFOs to be successful?

Here are my eight keys to success:

  1. Be an active and respected member of your Senior Management Team. Talk frequently and fluently about the key drivers of your business (i.e. volumes, ratios, pricing, and so forth), and about the external variables affecting the business (i.e. about the economy, the industry trends, the competitors, the risks and so forth). Focus on the big picture and protect the rear by making sure the details are done well and efficiently.
  2. Adequately staff your department with high quality people.
  3. Be very, very responsive to your key constituencies, including your internal “clients.” Know that internal and external customer satisfaction is Job Number 1.
  4. Share bad news quickly. Bad news only worsens with age.
  5. Manage your day-to-day department exceptionally well. Judgments by others are made based on how responsive and organized your department is.
  6. Do not be a policeman; be a guiding light to growth and profitability.
  7. Implement and manage sound strategic planning, budgeting and forecasting processes.
  8. Be prepared, and operate with a “no surprise” mentality.

I would appreciate hearing your critical success factors. You can email me at

Thank you,

Allan Tepper