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Although CFOs in the past focused primarily on compliance, financials, and statutory reporting, today they do a lot more. They are supervisors, and they play a role in leading the company. They need to understand in detail the financial position of the company. The traditional tasks are still important, but the role of the CFO has expanded. 

What Skills Do CFOs Need to Obtain?

In addition to the fundamental skills that CFOs have always needed, there are skills that are very important for the modern CFO. The skills include the following:

  1. Leadership: Today the CFO may need to lead programs within the company, and clear messaging is critical to success. This helps to keep everyone focused on the same goals for the company. 
  2. Operations: The CFO must also understand how the business operates within its industry. An understanding of where it fits in with competitors is important, and the CFO can use this knowledge to guide teams in a positive direction. They still work to control costs and drive growth and profit, but they also look at profitability versus competitors.
  3. Controls: The CFO has influence over most decisions that are made within a company. They need to understand both commercial and financial aspects of the business, and having strategic focus is ideal.
  4. Strategy: The CFO should support the business strategy and help ensure its execution. 

What Makes a CFO Successful Today?

CFOs need the basic skills listed above, but they need to go beyond that to be successful. Take a look at the following ways to evaluate success. 

  • Credibility: A successful CFO is a visible leader and has influence. They are able to communicate clearly and are always included in leadership meetings. 
  • Influence: The CFO makes sure that the finances of the company are valued throughout the entire company. They have informed teams, and the company makes decisions about manufacturing or operations based on this information.
  • Technology: The CFO is up to date on the latest technology and software, and they are able to adapt when it makes sense to upgrade. 
  • Results Driven: CFOs are evaluated based on results more than efficiency. They need to make the company vision a reality.