Some of the characteristics of a modern CFO

What are a few characteristics that distinguish the modern CFO from the stereotypical accountant and how does that contribute to a growing business?

A growing business benefits from a finance leader who is able to connect and build a business partnering relationship with the stakeholders. A finance leader who is a business advisor can steer the organization through growth.

Not an inclusive list but here are 3 characteristics worth talking about:

1. To assist a company with growth and add value beyond tax, book-keeping and table-stakes a modern CFO focuses on growth & revenue.

Unlike the stereotypical accountant who looks at the past and focuses only on historical numbers a modern CFO uses history to business partner with the executives and plan for growth, prepare for risk and earn more on the top line.

2. Similarly a modern CFO isn’t a “no man” they start with yes or at least “yes if”. They are creative and find a way to make it work. They aren’t frightening to the business rather they are a business partner. They serve the business as their clients. They connect. They advise. They are an important member of the executive. Yes, they question costs but that isn’t their main role. Yes, they challenge but they do it with curiosity and they collaborate.

3. A modern CFO keeps their house in order. The finance and accounting is set up in a practical way and they understand the art of the possible – they know when automation works. They design process, people and technology that will benefit the company by building it to be scalable. They do this within their team and influence the rest of business with a similar modern understanding of controls, risk, scale and automation.

As amazing as it is to have a CFO that can raise money and focus on business development and investor relations none of that is possible or adds value if the house isn’t in order. A modern CFO steps in as a controller or hires one to ensure they have what they need in a timely manner.

Tablestakes: clean and accurate data, tax planning & compliance, financial statements, cost -> all important but the modern CFO distinguishes them-self by proactive focus on revenue and growth. They stand out by their creativity and “yes”. The business has confidence in the accounting and finance and wants to replicate the automation, people and processes that they see in that department.

Stakeholders and executives that have a modern CFO as a business partner know it. Growing companies can always benefit from a modern CFO even if it’s part-time, contract or virtual during the early years.

To learn about the #moderncfo & how they can help your growing business as a #financeleader, #businessadvisor & #connector please be in touch:


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