Tag Archives: CFO

Leadership in Challenging Times

Back in the good old days (if there ever really were “good old days”), CFOs had a fairly straightforward path to success: Be responsible, be timely, be accurate. Good CFOs could also be counted on to think strategically, which added considerable value to the bottom line.

Reed Kingston
Reed Kingston
Practice Manager
BearingPoint

The job was never easy, but these days it’s harder than ever. Corporations demand a high level of sophistication and innovation from the finance function. And the inherent challenges of an economic decline make this mandate even more burdensome.

While most CFOs have taken to heart the importance of being innovative and proactive, not as many of them have defined their role as a central player in planning changes that maximize shareholder value and driving them across the enterprise.

What these executives do not fully exploit is that the CFO is uniquely qualified to provide meaningful input on the organization’s current and future initiatives and to lead the business in adapting to the changes that lay ahead. Leading financial executives take this to heart, providing critical insight to the business at large — not just within the finance function. They use their financial management platform to define and quantify value drivers for their enterprise, focus the entire organization on business initiatives that maximize value, and lead enterprise transformation efforts.

Today’s turbulent times will highlight the value of those CFOs who have already added the title of “Chief Transformation Officer” to their already long list of responsibilities. They have created organizations that are more nimble and better prepared to quickly identify and implement needed changes thoughtfully, with an eye towards not just surviving the next several quarters but being in position to dominate their markets when things swing back, as they always do.

CFOs who truly understand and embrace this new requirement to be a catalyst for change — and to lead business transformation across the enterprise — will create enormous competitive advantage for their corporations.

To learn more about the changing profile of today’s successful CFO, read our analysis of current challenges and opportunities for today’s chief financial officers.

Author: Reed Kingston

A New Perspective on C-Level Cooperation

Partners in information managementChief Financial Officers and Chief Marketing Officers are not traditionally thought of as best friends. It might have something to do with the juxtaposition of left and right brain thinking, or differing views on how to measure the performance of marketing programs and their impact on the bottom line that keeps these two executives from sitting next to each other at the lunch table.

Yet this relationship is becoming more important as both executives realize the value of more specific marketing and customer information to help drive strategic decisions; a merger of the creative and analytical minds can clearly help improve performance and fuel growth.

Many clients of BearingPoint’s World-Class Finance practice were asking about this, so we decided to partner with APQC, conduct a survey, and report our findings on the topic. You’re invited to read the resulting report: “CFOs and CMOs: partners in information management”.

One of the disconnects highlighted in the report is around the availability of data for customer segmentation and profitability analysis: while 80% of CFOs said they are providing sufficient data, less than 40% of CMOs said they are getting the data they need to make good decisions.

We hope these findings are helpful. Please feel free to share your comments and ideas here once you’ve read the research.

Author: Monica Huber