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The Changing Role of the CFO

The role of CFO has always been tremendously challenging, requiring both broad strategic skills and laser focus on complex and detailed financial issues. However, the pandemic and its ripple effects have increased the scope of challenge for those in the role. Apart from functional excellence, CFOs now also need resilience, curiosity, and strong leadership skills.

We expect a couple of key trends will continue:

1. CFOs will need to be flexible planners

According to a recent study, “One of the most disconcerting aspects of the crisis for CFOs – who, by definition, must be focused on precise details – has been the inability to make forecasts and predictions with any level of certainty, given the totally unprecedented nature of the economic disruption. After trying to ramp up the pace of scenario planning in the early days of the crisis, many CFOs decided to stop and focus on detecting trends and patterns, seeking new learnings in the process.” As we move forward, CFOs will need to keep this flexibility as they plan; remaining agile will be key to success.

2. CFOs will be true business partners to CEOs

Even before the pandemic, we saw a trend of companies looking to hire CFOs who could be strong leaders, working with the CEO to guide their organization to success. As the pandemic unfolded, this became even more important, and as the world remains uncertain, volatile, and complex, leadership and management skills remain extremely important. “As a natural and often obvious CEO successor, companies should consider bringing on CFOs who excel as leaders of people and who can connect and engage with others at a deeply human and motivational level.” To learn about other trends relating to the role of CFO, read on.

If you would like to discuss your hiring strategy or if you’re ready to recruit, get in touch to arrange a quick chat. Email Paul, Brent, Troy, or Tara, or give us a call at 519-673-3463 or 416-847-0036.

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