The days when the chief financial officer was primarily responsible for internal controls and compliance are long gone. While financial discipline remains critical, today’s CFOs have far more responsibility than their predecessors did, playing key roles in developing strategy, fostering innovation and driving growth. As their role expands, CFOs face challenges their predecessors never encountered: labor shortages, social and environmental concerns, ransomware attacks, increased regulation and global competition to name a few. Coping with these challenges requires knowledge and skills earlier CFOs were once able to outsource to peers. CFOs are also more visible, both internally and externally, than they were in the past. The green visor and insular persona of the bean counter stereotype doesn’t apply today — if it ever did. To be effective, CFOs must be both personable and analytical. They need to be excellent communicators who exude credibility and are confident discussing any aspect of the business, not just the financials.
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