The Tough Ascent to CFO from Controller

By Rich Bond

Jack McCullough’s post “A Controller’s Ascent to CFO” makes some great points. (https://www.linkedin.com/groups/51826/?highlightedUpdateUrn=urn%3Ali%3AgroupPost%3A51826-7089218659864174593&q=highlightedFeedForGroups)

Over the years, being a CFO has become tougher and tougher.  The expected tenure of a new CFO is now between 3 ½ and 5 years.

One difficulty of the job is that CFOs are evaluated on how the whole company performs, even though they have no direct control over the various divisions, such as sales or operations. That’s why a savvy CFO will get to know the other members of the C-suite and work to understand the business they are in.

The job has also become much more strategic, according to Deloitte’s CFO Academy.  CFOs need to help corporate management see what is likely to happen and how to take action to make the most of the situation.

CFOs who move up from being a Controller are lucky if they have a robust finance staff to support them.  If they don’t, then they should consider recruiting people with strong strategic experience and accomplishments to round out the team.

Becoming a new CFO can be a great opportunity or a trying experience. It really depends on your background, your outlook, and your whole finance group.

 

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