For years, CFOs all over the world were able to maintain a relatively segmented and strictly defined role within their organizations. Changes in globalization, the financial crisis, and other business factors have shattered that defined role. CFOs are now taking on a much broader role within organizations. This pattern has continued to increase every year.
A recent survey by Deloitte has provided some interesting information about what CFOs were doing in Q4 of 2012. These surveys can be helpful for CFOs as they look for direction and seek to know what the general understanding and perspective is among their peers as to how to guide their organizations to success.
It turns out that the finance departments headed by the CFO are “spending a growing portion of time influencing business strategy and operational priorities.” This is an area where skill and expertise in the finance realm are still growing in many organizations. CFOs in general are pleased with the capabilities of their organization when it comes to corporate finance and treasury and audit work.
One area where CFOs and organizations are placing much more of an emphasis is in strategic planning. As Sanford Cockrell III notes, “Improving finance’s ability to be a business partner is a constant struggle for CFOs.” A struggle should be seen as an opportunity for growth and improving your skill set. As CFOs and their finance teams get a better hold on strategic planning, their role in the organization will continue to change.
Another aspect of the survey which demonstrates the current views of many CFOs is in regards to how CFOs want to be perceived within their organizations. A majority “expressed a desire to be recognized first and foremost as strategic and business-savvy thinkers” as well as “regarded for personal values, such as loyalty and responsibility.”
CFOs are actively changing their role as they act and think. Of course, that doesn’t mean the shift is without stress. “Major change initiatives” were noted as a major area of stress for CFOs. There is much more brought to light in this survey, so be sure to follow the above link to get an even bigger picture of the current role of the CFO and the problems they are facing.