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3 Attributes Of The Successful CFO

July 21, 2011 Finance

A recent article from CNN Money and Fortune touted some of the top attributes of an effective CFO, and referred to a great CFO as the “best secret weapon” of the CEO. The article called out three key assets found in top CFOs:

1) Being a great general manager

2) Possessing above average external relations skills

3) Ability to manage complex mergers

Basically, the CFO needs to be multi-faceted to be most effective. While this is something large companies seek out when selecting a CFO (CNN Money used the past success of Google CFO Patrick Pichette as an example), it is possible for medium and small businesses to add these skills to their roster, too.

When considering a CFO, be it a full-time hire or in a fractional role, there are a few criteria we at Fahrenheit would like to add to the list.

  1. Find a Financial Advocate
    Make sure your CFO understands the real value of your company – it’s never just about the numbers.
  2. Look through the windshield, not the rearview mirror
    Any CPA can crunch the numbers from the past year – you want a CFO to interpret those results and turn them into future strategy and guidance.
  3. Increase efficiency by doing it right the first time
    The more efficient and accurate your business processes are, the better the results – a CFO can oversee the little details that ensure success.

It’s sometimes hard to realize that your company has grown to the point of needing the services of a CFO – get in touch with us and we can help you decide if you’re ready or not. And if you are in the market for a CFO, really look for someone you feel will understand your entire organization. He or she must be able to advise the CEO, instilling a better understanding of the numbers and offering educated analysis of real-world applications. When we think of a great CFO, we think solid, accurate and practical – someone that inspires faith.

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