What to look for in your Chief Financial Officer?


From being a professional to strategising growth, handling the financial aspects, forming the internal team, managing the directors and shareholders, taking care of complex tax issues, ensuring transparency in finance and accounts, there is a long list of operations that a Chief Financial Officer performs for a company. While the core role remains the same, the additional jobs depend upon the needs of an organisation, and the stage at which a company is, that is, high growth, cash crunched business, or a start up.

For any company planning to hire a CFO, it is important to understand the need and complexity involved in the role prior to making the final decision. Here are a few things that you need to consider while hiring your CFO.

Ability to handle financial aspects

A Chief Financial Officer should be an individual who is passionate about numbers and finance. Considering the fact that these professionals are provided with a large amount of data, they might find themselves in a situation where they are loaded with too much information. A CFO should master the art of analysing numbers, making decisions based on the information available, and ensuring that the time between gathering and understanding the requirements and decision making is shortened. CFOs are responsible for understanding what’s right and what’s wrong for a company and make decisions accordingly. It is important that the CFO pays special attention to statutory compliances as well as corporate governance. To put simply, responsibility for financial statements, precise and time bound MIS, secretarial compliances, and taxation compliances lies with the CFO. These are a few things your CFO should be good at.

Business focused

It is important for a CFO to have a business orientation. Understand the difference between a born CFO and the one who has graduated from an accounts manager to a controller first and then finally to a CFO. Someone who talks about the business naturally is a born CFO. When on your way to hiring your Chief Financial Officer, make sure to evaluate whether the professional you are considering appointing has been actively participating in decision making.

Driver of growth

In today’s dynamic world, driving and managing growth is one of the most important things. From visualising to turning it into a reality, a CFO has to play a crucial role. If you are planning to hire a CFO, be it a full time or a part time CFO, make sure to evaluate your success strategy and how fast you want to grow so as to bring the right professional on board. With businesses going global and availability of myriad funding options, the CFOs have to play the role of being growth movers in the company. However, growing is not easy. There is a constant need to manage growth and change. A large number of companies remain inactive as they don’t invest in the right CFO who is capable of managing the growth process efficiently.

Go to person

It is important to find out whether your potential CFO has the ability to deal with tough financial situations, and can successfully take your company out of them, especially in today’s era when there is strain on cash. In businesses, there are recessions, downturns, and the go to person in these situations is usually the CFO. He is the one who needs to count on an able General who can operate the company through troubled waters.

When so much depends on the ability of a Chief Financial Officer, is it not necessary for founders to set aside sufficient time and thought to identify as well as retain the right professional. Not only this, you also need to make sure that you get the best from your officer. For this purpose:

>> The CFO should indulge in internal meetings where each department’s performance is reviewed.

>> The CFO should meet decision makers and customers to create a better bond and connect with them.

>> The CFO should take care of legal negotiations.

Proactive CFOs offers Chief Financial Officer, company secretary, resident and nominee director, capital raising, funds structuring, business planning and strategic advice  services via a contractual arrangement, which can be full-time, part-time, or on online basis.

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