Effective CFOs can spell success for their companies; ineffective ones can just as easily spell failure. As a rule, chief financial officers are committed to the success of their companies as well as to their own personal success, since the two are intertwined.
Top CFOs vary in their managerial strategies and approaches to on-the-job problems. However, top CFOs share a set of core traits that all financial officers can refer to when developing their own careers and delivering the best services possible.
Top traits of effective CFOs include:
• Integrity. Top CFOs are unswerving in their integrity and professional ethics. They understand that their responsibility to the financial health of the company and its shareholders extends beyond their office doors. They don’t hesitate to stick to the rules, even when it means becoming the bearer of bad news.
• Financial skills. Not all top CFOs have a CPA, but all of them understand how the numbers are generated and can communicate this information to managers, creditors, and shareholders who may possess very little financial sophistication. Knowledge of accounting fundamentals, cash management, and financial management are key for CFOs.
• Business and management skills. Top CFOs know not only how to work with the numbers, but how to work with people and within the market as well. These skills are particularly important for a CFO who is participating in a business restructuring.
• Problem-solving skills. Gone are the days in which effective CFOs could claim to be “just the numbers person.” Today, CFOs must be able to strategize, lead, and seek “win-win” situations when conflicts arise.
• Communication abilities. CFOs are called on not only to know the numbers, but to communicate about them in a wide variety of situations and with a wide variety of audiences. Whether the audience consists of other financial professionals or people new to finance entirely, an effective CFO can find a way to convey the information needed in an understandable way.
• Strong work ethic. All CFOs need to work long hours from time to time. The work often requires the ability to process large amounts of information while paying meticulous attention to the details. Effective CFOs have the internal work ethic needed to get through even the toughest situations.
At Daley and Associates, our experienced Boston-based financial recruiters can help you find the financial talent you need. If you are looking for Boston executive recruiters contact us today.