When a group of high ranking CFOs from some of the world’s most successful companies were gathered together by the Wall Street Journal and presented with a series of questions about their priorities, some of the resulting answers were surprising. Others came as no surprise at all, especially to those with a complex understanding of the issues modern financial executives are facing across the country. When the participants in the interview were asked to list their top initiatives and most important ongoing goals, here are some of the answers they provided.
CFO Priorities in 2013
1. Approaching the CFO Role Strategically
Top financial executives recognize that they’re unlikely to lead their companies to security and success without long term planning based on input from multiple operational units. In order to draw on available support and provide guidance during company strategy sessions, CFOs need to gather extensive data and build a framework based on the long and short term realities of the business and the overall marketplace.
2. Focusing on Capital Allocation
CFOs distribute capital in ways that emphasize earnings per share. But they also need to focus on the generation of free cash flow. Cash is a fundamental pillar of business success and growth, and it’s up to the CFO to make sure that financial statements identify and emphasize cash earnings, cash investments and the cash resources available to creditors. Effective CFOs understand the relative metrics that are used to determine the health of a company’s available capital.
3. Succession Planning
Strong CFOs standing at the financial helm of effective, growing companies need to maintain tight control over succession planning at all times. Financial leadership requires immeasurable volumes of insider knowledge, so it’s important to build and support a staffing pipeline so the company can prepare for executive transitions. If your succession plan could use some strengthening (or if your company has no leadership pipeline in place at all) consider reaching outside the firm for strategic guidance. A experienced, trusted financial staffing firm like Cordia can help.
4. Balanced Growth in Step With the Company Mission
It isn’t quite enough for CFOs to fully understand the future of the company’s business model and maintain a multi-year focus on where the company is going. Effective CFOs also need to communicate this framework clearly to the board of directors. Every member of the board needs to understand how the company creates value, where these value sources lie, and how to keep these sources nourished and sustained.
For more information on the top priorities of the most effective financial executives, or for guidance on strengthening your company’s foundation of financial leadership, reach out to the Vienna VA staffing experts at Cordia. Contact our office and arrange a consultation today. If you are looking for some of the top financial jobs Virginia, please contact us today.