Importance of This Chapter
The new controller needs to know all about the chief financial officer (CFO), not only because she reports to this position, but also because becoming a CFO may be the next logical step in the controller's career track. This chapter gives insights into the motivations and responsibilities of the position.
Years ago, chief executive officers (CEOs) were satisfied with finance chiefs who could manage the analysts on Wall Street, implement financial controls, manage initial public offerings (IPOs), and communicate with the board—in other words, possess strong financial skills. However, in today's business climate in which competitors appear out of thin air, where e-commerce has changed entire industries, and global competitors abound, the ability to change quickly has become a necessity for growth, if not for survival. CEOs are no longer satisfied with financial acumen. They are demanding more from their finance chiefs. They want individuals who can fill a multitude of roles: business partner, strategic visionary, communicator, confidant, and creator of value. Bottom-line CEOs want someone who will drive improvement quickly—a facilitator of change. This chapter focuses on how to drive change in an organization. It is not about running a meeting or facilitating groups, but about implementing critical management practices that will help CFOs implement major business changes.