5 Attributes CFOs Should Possess

CFOs need a variety of skills to succeed in the modern business world, from building interpersonal relationships to understanding cutting edge finance and accounting software.

Chief financial officers have a specific set of skills that help them guide the financial activities and overall security of transactions for their companies. Certain attributes are especially beneficial for CFOs, helping them complete their duties and steer their organizations in the most effective way possible. Keep these five key CFO attributes in mind:

1. Financial competency

Perhaps the most obvious skill required of a CFO, a deep and thorough understanding of financial processes and practices is vital for overseeing the business's financial processes and for any direct work a financial leader performs. A strong grasp of everything from budget management and the principles of accountancy to portfolio review is necessary for effective leadership. With a high level of financial competency, CFOs can also make more informed decisions related to hiring staff who will work under them in some capacity.

2. Interpersonal skills

CFOs must have effective management skills as well as the ability to communicate sometimes complicated information to other members of the organization. While financial leaders don't necessarily have to be seasoned motivational speakers, they must have the ability to convince other executives in the company that certain actions must be taken and risks must be avoided. CFOs also need to communicate with their direct reports to ensure proper management of the organization's financial obligations and opportunities.

A group of businesspeople holding a discussion.

3. Technological understanding

Finance and accounting are no longer disciplines primarily conducted with pen and paper. A wide variety of digital options exist for compiling, reviewing and analyzing such information, from simple spreadsheets to more advanced, customized solutions. Business Insider said CFOs have to stay abreast of developing technology in an effort to find powerful, targeted metrics that are especially relevant to operations and improve risk management. A desire to learn about new technology and implement solutions that make sense for specific business goals is a vital attribute.

4. Flexibility and forward thinking

Technology has the power to disrupt everything in the business world, from entire industries to individual workflows. That's just one way an established protocol can change. Other factors, from company growth to increased hiring, can influence best practices and the most efficient processes for many types of financial work. A well-rounded CFO has the ability to look toward the future and make reasonable adjustments in the present, as well as respond to emergent issues that arise without much warning. Adaptability can have a major impact on a company's financial state.

5. Understanding outsourcing and knowing when to utilize it

Accounting outsourcing offers some major benefits to CFOs, especially those at newer and smaller organizations. With a fixed price and team of experienced professionals providing reliable service, it's easier for CFOs to gain valuable insight into operations and handle the critical daily and long-term tasks necessary to maintain a secure operation and minimize risk. To learn more about our effective outsourced accounting solutions, get in touch with Consero today.