What value does the Chief Financial Officer add to the company? A CFO typically has a wealth of experience, knowledge, and a particular strategic skillset to help them navigate the challenges of leading an organization. But what do CFOs do to add value? The CFO Leads the Finance and Accounting teams who don’t only conduct reporting and transaction recording, but also can add tremendous value by analyzing opportunities in all sections of the profit and loss statement.
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What value does the Chief Financial Officer add to the company? A CFO typically has a wealth of experience, knowledge, and a particular strategic skill set to help them navigate the challenges of leading an organization. But what do you see as those do to add value? The CFO leads the finance and accounting teams who don't only conduct reporting and transaction recording, but also can add tremendous value. By analyzing opportunities in all sections of the profit and loss statement. Please enjoy the episode. Welcome to the finance leader podcast where leadership is bigger than the numbers. I'm your host Stephen McLain. This is the podcast for developing leaders in finance and accounting. This is episode number 67. And I'll be talking about how CFOs add value, and I will highlight the following topics. Number one advises the CEO, the executive team and the board. Number two examines new opportunities within the profit and loss statement. Number three, maximizes technology to develop better analysis and accounting practices. Number four safeguards company assets and its financial reputation. And five trains their team to partner with leaders around the company, author and speaker John Maxwell said, people who add value to others do so intentionally. I say that because to add value, leaders must give of themselves and that rarely occurs by accident. Now wanted to share a reminder that 2022 is coming up fast, and we need to be thinking about our goals. What do you want to accomplish next year. If you haven't already, let's start writing down our 2022 goals and update our individual development plan. I can't wait to share the goal setting episode after the new year begins. I love goal setting. And we need to have more clarity than ever for next year. We are now on the fourth episode of the CFO series we have talked about the CFO mindset how senior executives partner together to lead. And last week the topic was about the CFO skill set. This week, I am talking about how CFOs add value. Now what does value mean? I talked about this in Episode 65, about how the senior executives work together. There are several considerations when discussing value. But particularly, the CFO has a team of finance and accounting professionals who can explore ways to grow the business, but also to find efficiencies within the money that is being spent. So it's incremental revenue on current streams of income, new streams of revenue within the brand itself. acquisitions that make sense, and a few other ways where you can add value CFOs have committed themselves to this process can add tremendous value to the company. And to do so means adding value to the very people who get the work done. Adding value means to invest. And that must be an intentional act. Every action you take every meeting every email, every discussion should be around adding value. Any role you're serving, you should be focused on adding value no matter what you're working on. We don't just report what happened regarding financial transactions. But we also explored new ways to bring an incremental revenue and entirely new streams of revenue, and to find better ways to use the resources that we have. Now I do have a challenge for you, I want you to become a storyteller. To help influence ideas in the vision around the company. When you combine a story with the numbers, it becomes more interesting. And it leads to a better understanding of what is happening within the metrics and within the financial statements, especially the profit and loss statement. Every transaction represents people and possibility. So framing your stories around that. Now this may be challenging for some. And it's an amazing way to help people understand of where you want the team to go, and where you want the company to go. So tell a story with a human element involved and especially around the numbers. When you pinpoint a story to a number and then tell that story with a human element. That number then becomes even more important because the number becomes more human and relatable. And then you can do amazing things when numbers can be more relatable, and more personable. Now most of you know I am a retired Army officer and if you spent any time with veterans, it's that we love to tell stories. Often these stories have a lesson in them. When participating in military operations, you deal with a very human element. And there are lessons in that a story wrapped in the human experience is powerful. So learn to be an effective storyteller and the key element to tell In a story, and just talking with your team is to encourage and listen to feedback, real listening when you are focused on the individual and what they are saying. And that means uninterrupted listening, followed up by any questions for clarity, become experts and storytelling that connects and then listening effectively. This will help form strong bonds with your team and other leaders around the company. Now, once you achieve the role of CFO don't rest on your laurels. This will be the time to really get to work. Don't stop updating your IDP, don't stop putting in 100% effort. Don't stop grinding to achieve excellence. It's just getting started, celebrate and then get to work building a company, even a company that has been around for a while with a strong financial pathway. We don't stop adding value. We don't stop getting better. We don't stop helping the people around us. We focused on helping our people improve and achieve their goals. So many senior leaders overlook this responsibility. It is your responsibility that there is a program to develop your teams. As CFO, you must invest in your finance and accounting team members. You and your company will receive immediate returns on a training and development commitment. And please consider following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. My usernames and the links are in this episode show notes. And also please join the Facebook group I have for this podcast community. Thank you. Now let's talk about a few key points about how CFOs add value. Number one advises the CEO, the executive team and the board. The CFO becomes the primary advisor to other senior leaders within the company for all matters related to its financial health and opportunities. The CFO is a partner who can successfully collaborate on a variety of projects with senior leaders and how to define and execute the strategy. And often the CEO and CFO form a bond to focus on the future of the company and work together to deliver the vision. So embrace that role is advisor on all matters financial partner and collaborate with the other senior leaders on the executive team and also the board. Number two, examines new opportunities within the profit and loss statement. The company's profit and loss statement tells a story what the company is doing both good and bad. There are many opportunities right there in the p&l statement to look at to both increase top line and to also save money, the entire senior executive team should be looking for opportunities to grow incremental revenue, to find entirely new streams of revenue, and to find efficiencies to save money. What new products or services can be added to bring in additional revenue, or even what changes can be made to the existing offering to increase the top line. And efficiencies can be found in consolidation, better processes, better technology such as energy saving tools and products, bulk purchasing, better forecasting, and many other ways. So never stop looking at how you can save money within the lines within the p&l statement. Continue to look for those opportunities throughout the p&l statement top line, and also with the accounts in lines that are in the middle. Number three, maximizes technology to develop better analysis and accounting practices. The company's financial systems can provide opportunities, or even limits if your team doesn't know its capabilities. The CFO must be invested in knowing and maximizing the financial systems and processes. Your team needs training and coaching to really know how to effectively use the tools available in these systems. Often accountants and analysts don't truly know the capabilities of the systems they are using. I also want to encourage you to evaluate the need of emerging technology. A close partnership with the IT team should also be pursued. So the IT team can help with the creation of automatic processes and report creation especially if routine reports can be run automatically, instead of an analyst or an accountant setting up the parameters each time. I am a big believer in process improvement, and just being smarter about how we process information and perform analysis. Your financial systems must support better processes and minimize human error. And by human error. I mean where the system can't produce what you really need and the analyst has to perform a lot of manipulation and cut and paste functions. This is a waste of resources and is a morale killer. It's especially disruptive when you have two systems that can't talk to each other. And you have to download a report from one system, reformat it and then upload it to The other system, that's a horrible way to conduct analysis, and we can do better continue to evaluate the company's use of technology. And don't be afraid to invest in better tech in the training to know how to use it effectively, I consider that one return on investment and better technology is the return and time your team may get back. I know firsthand, that when you are working in finance and accounting, that there's never enough time to get all the tasks done. Some of this is not maximizing your systems. And also we don't have the right priorities in place. So this goes together, maximize the capabilities of your financial system, and ensure the right priorities are in place. Now number four safeguards company assets and its financial reputation. We know that we must have solid controls in place. This starts with the CFO, the company's audit plan, and the enforcement of proper handling and reporting of assets around the company. We won't have a long discussion around controls here because we know what they are and what they look like. But we can never forget to ensure they are in place and we are checking them your audit team must be checking and validating those controls. The company's financial reputation is important to ensure when future investment or debt financing is needed to fund revenue streams or other projects, that the company won't have a problem. We want the company to have a healthy reputation regarding its finances, its controls, and also its reporting. Now number five trains and coaches their team to partner with leaders around the company. I believe in building strong relationships around the company, especially as the experts with the numbers. The exchange of information and insights is invaluable. When you talk with the ones responsible for the metrics you are responsible for you learn more, you'll learn the why to the numbers a lot more. And when you combine real insights the actual numbers, you can then create an opportunity for decision to make improvements. CFOs can encourage these relationships, which will build a better team into the future. Now for action today. This episode is about adding value. It's critical to understand that no matter what role you feel that you figure out how to add value to the company, and your team. Beyond your reporting function, consider what value you're adding in the role you're working in today, and continue to focus on what additional value you can bring. Today I talked about how the CFO can add value to the company and highlighted the following points. Number one advises the CEO, the executive team and the board. Number two examines new opportunities within the p&l statement. Number three maximizes technology to develop better analysis and accounting practices. Number four safeguards company assets and its financial reputation, and five trains their team to partner with leaders around the company. The role of CFO is essential in any organization. The CFO leads the finance and accounting teams and advises the senior staff in all matters related to the company's financial health. The point of having adding value as a podcast episode topic is to highlight that the finance and accounting functions don't only work on reporting and compliance but we have a focus on creating additional opportunities for the company to deliver the vision and the strategy. I love for CFOs to get out of the seat often to talk with everyone they can and talk about the company's future, and to get people behind that vision. And even beyond that CFO should spend time to ensure their teams are training, which means we need to find training time to dedicate, I always hear that we don't have enough time for training and development, which also means our priorities are wrong. Our processes need improvement. Our technology needs to be maximized better, and I am encouraging current serving CFOs to dedicate time to do this, you will get amazing returns on your investment. When you focus on training and development. When you make your team better when you make the people around you better. That also means that those team members out there see you investing in them, which also will bring great investments back to you it will bring you a great return in the long run. So continue to focus on improving and dedicating training time to improving your team. Next week I will be talking about strategic business and financial planning. Please consider joining the Facebook group I have for this podcast is called the finance leader podcast community. This is a place where we can help each other to grow and be prepared for the next step in our careers as finance and accounting professionals. The link is in the show notes with this episode. I hope you enjoyed the finance leader podcast I am dedicated to helping you grow your leadership skills to change your mindset and to clarify your goals so you achieve The role of chief financial officer. You can find this episode wherever you listen to podcasts. Until next time, you can check out more resources at finance leader Academy comm and sign up for my weekly updates so you don't miss an episode. And now, go lead your team and I'll see you next time. Thank you