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Balancing cost control vs growth
• Despite the cost-cutting efforts of recent years, executives still report that their support functions are high cost, ineffective, or in the worst cases, both.
• Although finance chiefs may be concerned that cutting costs is to blame for lower levels of quality service and customer satisfaction, data has shown that top performers are doing more with less.
• Finance no longer compiles reports on past performance; now the function plays a prominent role in helping business leaders to make better decisions.
• To shift from good to great, CFOs must make a difference. These CFOs have become true partners with the business, rather than simply running it.
• Another differentiating factor for great CFOs is their ability to look at a problem from many points of view, and to find a resolution among these often disparate notions. Gaining visibility into the entire organization, not just the finance function, can help CFOs to make a difference.
• If your data isn’t accurate, it can be a big blow to your credibility as CFO. Make sure you’re not only communicating well, but also armed with the right information.
• Experience and confidence are also important qualities. Great CFOs aren’t bogged down with administrative tasks; instead, they focus on understanding
On growing companies
• The role of the CFO has evolved due to several factors, including the advent of technology that has transformed business growth trajectories.
• CFOs today must strike a delicate balance between growth and profitability.
• As companies evolve, so must processes and tools. Although some functions may resist change, CFOs must lead this charge so that companies don’t wait until it’s too late.
Dashboards for decision making
• Manual processing data from disparate reports is inefficient; consider implementing dashboards so that executives can better monitor and communicate data.
• Dashboards can now go beyond high-level metrics to provide insights into operational and tactical metrics. CFOs have the opportunity to combine both, providing a “big picture” view of financial data, as well as a granular view of operations.
• CFOs can’t wait to make decisions. Fortunately, dashboards help to narrow the “decision window” so that finance chiefs can make a decision sooner after a business event.
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