As its name suggests, the CFO is responsible for finances, but also human resources and compliance with legislation within a company. It is a job with high responsibilities.
The presence of the CFO is increasingly felt, highlighting the importance of financial aspects in business management. This is also valid in CFO services for small business, where its role includes company finances, but also the management of human resources and the legal department. The financial director exercises his functions within a private company or a municipal, departmental or regional public establishment. He is attached to the general management or to the resources department and works in an office.
But, whatever the size of the company, its primary missions are generally of five types:
- Guarantee compliance with accounting and financial rules;
- Report on the company’s financial situation, both vis-à-vis the Management and the Board of Directors, as well as external stakeholders;
- Prepare and produce financial information, including forecasting;
- Pilot large-scale financial operations, in particular by estimating the financial risk of investment projects;
- Ensure the profitability and optimization of the management of the company’s capital, also ensuring relations with financial partners.
- He supervises all the budgetary procedures of the various departments of the company: settlement of debts and loans, treasury operations…
- He analyzes the financial and tax situation of the company and develops strategies accordingly.
- It establishes budget forecasts, provides for the financing of investments.
- It validates the contracts issued by the company.
- He supervises the management team and manages the staff and the administrative department.
- He ensures compliance with the laws related to the company’s activity and keeps abreast of changes in regulations.
- He represents the company during negotiations with the banks.
- He coordinates the various services for which he is responsible and exchanges regularly with other departments (technical, human resources, IT, etc.). It is also in contact with external partners (public and private funders, legal, user defense associations, etc.).
The CFO of the future? A strategic role…
But the role of the CFO continues to grow, well beyond the numbers. And for good reason, the increasing complexity of the economic context, the acceleration of technological progress or even issues, such as cybercrime and risk management, place companies in front of major challenges. Challenges that require a more strategic position for the Chief Financial Officer of tomorrow. If he retains his mission of technician of the figure, the financial manager sees his attributions continuously widened. Beyond traditional tasks, it is increasingly becoming a central element of business decision-making. The woman or man capable of providing high-level financial information, but also a versatile manager, at the forefront of innovation, mastering all the cogs and dimensions of the structure.
The situation is changing rapidly…
Digitization, artificial intelligence, robotization, cybersecurity, but also (and above all) big data, so many phenomena that upset the daily life of the CFO to transform him into a true digital evangelist. Juggling with data has become imperative. Big, or rather smart data, represents a crucial and essential tool for the strategic decision-making of the company registration in USA, in particular in terms of projections and risk management. But the challenge for the financial manager will also be to link this risk management to other dimensions of the company, well beyond the financial aspects. From the supply chain business performance, trends and market developments. Given this preponderant role, the voice of the CFO will have to be heard more and more in the heart of the C-suite, which will also require excellent communication skills.