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Optimising financial processes

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Who are these architects of business resilience and growth?


I read an interesting commentary by Anjli Raval in the Financial Times (FT) this week.

It seems to come round in tougher economic times, which in itself should tell us something.

A role typically associated with less ego, an attention to detail, an understanding of risk management and an intense focus on the bottom line.

The time has come (again!) for the traditional “beanie”.  

The title of the FT article that grabbed my attention is Why more CFOs are becoming CEOs.

To be fair, more and more finance leaders (and leaders of all disciplines) have “T-Shaped” or even “V-Shaped” skillsets.

Chief financial officers are increasingly getting tapped for the chief executive role — from Margherita Della Valle at Vodafone to Murray Auchincloss at BP who both got the top job at a time of upheaval at their companies.

8% of global CEOs were CFOs immediately prior to becoming CEO, and the number is growing.

Over the past decade in particular, the role of the traditional finance leader has expanded to take in more responsibilities in everything from corporate strategy and deal activity to sustainability and data analytics. 

“They are the architects of business resilience and growth,” reports a new survey from headhunter Egon Zehnder.

82 per cent of CFOs said their role had significantly grown in the past five years. As their visibility and prominence has grown, 60 per cent said they had ambitions to take on the CEO role. 

Getting the top job is more likely in 2024 for a CFO, but success in the role isn’t guaranteed. 

But it is not all plain sailing and the article details some of the challenges.

But when a crisis hits, call the person with the trusted hand on the numbers.

And the story behind the numbers.

No bad thing in any economy.

Time to dig deep, develop your reputation for trust and attention to detail . . 

Charles H Green, the author of “The Trusted Advisor” memorably describes trust as an equation (credibility + reliability + intimacy) DIVIDED BY self-interest. Worth keeping in mind.  

Maybe time to polish up the resume!

And perhaps finance & accounting aren’t so boring after all?

You can read the FT article by Anjli Raval here . . . . (you may need to sign in) or on LinkedIn here . . . .

Thanks for reading . . .