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The Traits of Today's CFO

Book Description

As the business world grows in complexity and increases in pace, organisations expect the leaders of their management accounting teams to be just that-leaders. Crunching the numbers, running financial reports, and complying with rules and regulations are only a part of contemporary CFOs' or controllers' work. Equally important is CFOs' participation on the executive team as a strategic leader of the finance function, a strong communicator, high-level negotiator, and builder of a collaborative environment.

While your organisation expects you to take on this evolving role, you may not feel confident in your ability to perform these high-level functions. The Traits of Today's CFO: A Handbook for Excelling in an Evolving Role has the answers you need. This book explores in detail controllers' and CFOs' critical traits and explains specifically what actions are required to meet these requirements. It provides a wealth of information on coaching employees and, in the process, transferring accountability for results back to their hands. It further includes thorough coverage of best practices in governance and risk programmes, gap analysis, shaping organisational culture, and team building.

Drawing on studies of executives and leaders of finance teams, The Traits of Today's CFO develops a detailed picture of the contemporary and future controller and CFO and tells you how to powerfully perform in these roles.

Checklists, self-assessments, position descriptions, coaching exercises, and other practical tools make this book immediately useful to your work now and your own evolving career.

"There will always be a high demand for the strategic CFO," author Ron Rael says. Ensure you are a strategy-driven management accounting leader with this valuable book.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. Introduction
    1. Advanced Critical Skills
    2. Specific Best Practices
  7. 1 Step 1: Improve your Leadership Effectiveness by Looking Ahead
    1. Our future—more of the Same, at Warp Speed
      1. CFO and Controller’s Future Roles
      2. The CFO and Controller Team’s Responsibilities
      3. The Management Accounting Department’s Journey Into the Future
    2. Value Creation Approach to Management Accounting: Eight Insights into Management Accounting’s Future
      1. Universal Theme No. 1: An Emphasis on Nonaccounting Roles
      2. Universal Theme No. 2: Our Performance Gap
      3. Universal Theme No. 3: The Collaborative Partnership
      4. Solution No. 1—How to Overcome the Performance Gap
      5. Solution No. 2—How to Prepare for Tomorrow
  8. 2 Step 2: Become an Effective Coach
    1. Coaching in a Nutshell
    2. Coaching at the Individual Level
      1. The Skill of Coaching
      2. Accountability Factor in Coaching
      3. Specific Skills of a True Coach
      4. Coaching Skills Defined
    3. Coaching at the Organisational Level
      1. Teaching and Training
      2. Counselling
      3. Guiding
      4. Learning
      5. Sharing
      6. Questioning
      7. Relating
      8. Listening
      9. Using Intuition
      10. Creativity
    4. Controller and CFO Best Practice: Position Description
      1. Elements of the Position Description
      2. Benefits of using a Position Description
      3. Tips on Making the Position Description Effective
      4. Position Description for a General Accounting Assistant
  9. 3 Step 3: Improve the Organisation’s Performance Through Coaching
    1. CFO = Influencer
    2. Best Practice: Shape the Culture by Defining It
      1. Tone at the Top
      2. The Leader as Proactive Shaper of Culture
      3. CFO Tool: Cultural Ideals
      4. The Story You Tell
      5. In the End
    3. Best Practice: Create Balanced Risk-Taking With a Risk Programme
      1. Risk Is Individual to Each of Us
      2. Risk Is Everywhere and Never-Ending
      3. Why Defining Risk Is Necessary
      4. The Meaning of Risk Has Changed
      5. Fundamental Sources of All Business Risks
      6. CFO Solutions to Make People Aware That Risk Exists
      7. CFO Solutions to make People Aware that Risk can Be Survived
      8. CFO tool: Risk Identification
      9. CFO tool: Selecting the Right Strategy
      10. In the End
    4. Best Practice: Foster Accountability by Defining It
      1. Accountability From a Leader’s Perspective
      2. Accountability Is Often Misunderstood
      3. Where Accountability Fits In
      4. The Undefined Standard
      5. Why Accountability Works to Make Everyone Successful
      6. How Leaders Improve Accountability
      7. 10½ Rules of Accountability
    5. Best Practice: Establish a Governance Programme That Eliminates Questionable Practices
      1. Controls or Policies Are Not Governance
      2. Makeup of a Governance Programme
      3. The Human Element in Governance
      4. Cost of Governance
  10. 4 Step 4: Improve your Team’s Effectiveness Through Coaching
    1. The Value of Teaming in Finance
      1. The CFO as Developer of Team’s Skills and Talents
      2. In Essence
    2. Best Practice: Shape Your Employees’ Teaming Behaviours With a Solid Structure
      1. The Teaming Culture
      2. The Team’s Decisions Are Made by Consensus
      3. How to Create a Strong Team
      4. 10½ Rules About Building Effective Teams
      5. In the End
    3. Best Practice: Shape Your Employees’ Accountability by Establishing Behaviour Expectations
      1. Expectations and Standards Shape Behaviours
      2. Cultural Objectivity
      3. CFO Tool: Culture Statement
      4. CFO Tool: Ground Rules
      5. CFO Tool: Service Standards
      6. In the End
    4. Best Practice: Shape Your Employees’ Behaviour by Using Honest Feedback
      1. Power of Immediate Feedback
      2. How to Keep Feedback Objective
      3. How Leaders Use Feedback
      4. When and Where to Use Feedback
      5. 10½ Rules for Performance Improving Feedback
      6. In the End
    5. Best Practice: Shape Your Employees’ Behaviour With Recognition and Rewards
      1. Why Rewards and Recognition Foster Team Behaviours
      2. How Leaders Create Team Recognition
      3. In the End
  11. 5 Step 5: Improve your Change Agent Skills Through Self-Coaching
    1. Your Need for Self-Coaching
      1. Controller or CFO’s True Role
      2. Similar Roles Yet Different Responsibilities
    2. Best Practice: Skills Gap Assessment
      1. Change Agent’s Skills Explained
    3. Best Practice: Gap Analysis
      1. Gap Analysis Defined
      2. In the End
    4. Best Practice: Formalised Action Plan
      1. obtain Tangible Results With an Action Plan
    5. Best Practice: Action Plan Reporting and Accountability
      1. In the End
      2. CFO versus the Controller—How the Roles vary
  12. 6 Step 6: Improve your Skills as a Leader in the Middle
    1. Your Personal Strength: Surviving as a Manager in the Middle
      1. Your Biggest Hurdle to Becoming a Great Leader
      2. Natural Rule of Leadership
    2. Best Practice: Solution Creator
      1. How to Become an Effective Problem Solver
      2. Their Pain Is Real and Tangible, Yet Hidden
    3. Best Practice: Probing Questions
      1. How to Get to the Real Problem
      2. Why Management Accountants Do Not Use Objective Questioning
    4. Best Practice: Problem Restatement
      1. Ways Get to the Real Cause of an Issue or Problem
      2. No. 1 Big Mistake of the CFO
      3. No. 2 Big Mistake of the CFO
      4. How to Use Problem Restatement
      5. The Process for Restating the Problem
      6. In the End
  13. 7 Chapter 7: Step 6½: Improve by Making a Commitment
    1. Growing Pains
      1. No. 3 Big Mistake of the CFO
    2. Today’s Management Accounting Leader Realities
      1. Our Skills and Knowledge Grow Obsolete at an Ever-Faster Rate
      2. A Management Accounting Team Advances in Only Two Ways: The Solutions We Provide and the Connections We Sustain
    3. Significant Trends in Management Accounting that Impact the CFO and Controller
      1. Trend No. 1
      2. Trend No. 2
      3. Trend No. 3
      4. Trend No. 4
      5. Trend No. 5
      6. Trend No. 6
      7. Trend No. 7
      8. Trend No. 8
      9. Trend No. 9
    4. Strategies for Coping With the Pain of These Changes
    5. Best Practice—Instilling a Personal Commitment
    6. Best Practice—Instilling Continuous Improvement with Plus/Delta
      1. Steps of the Plus/Delta
  14. Controller’s Resources List