Lynn Russo Whylly
After taking a slight step backward in February, CEO confidence ratings surged in March, to 7.41, up 6.0% from 6.99 in February, and up 4.8% from 7.07 in January.
Just as a ship captain needs a co-captain to help keep the ship on a steady path, the CEO also needs a co-captain to help navigate the murky waters of business and spot the opportunities and risks ahead. Often, the CEO relies on the CFO to be his or her right hand, but many CEOs feel their CFOs are not strategic enough. According to a new report from Chief Executive Network entitled “6 Steps to Develop a Strategic CFO”, there are several specific actions CFOs can take to better serve their CEOs. To download a complimentary copy of this report, click here. “Finance often is up to its ears in manual repetitive tasks that bog down the function,” says Sandy Cockrell, global leader and U.S. national managing partner of Deloitte’s CFO Program.
“I WORK CLOSELY WITH THE CEO ON WHERE WE WANT THE BUSINESS TO BE THREE, FIVE AND 10 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE.”These often urgent tasks can leave little room for the thinking and reflection necessary for a CFO to provide genuine business insights that drive positive organizational change. While most financial analysis is primarily confined to that which has already happened, to help the CEO, the CFO should be more forward thinking.
- Among other areas, your CFO should:
- Analyze profit trends and product line & customer profitability
- Help determine which businesses to invest in, harvest or exit
- Analyze which activities to outsource or bring in-house
- Assess the pros and cons of alternative distribution channels and models
- Provide data, analysis and recommendations on other strategic decisions
Almost half of the world's investment professionals are upbeat, a new survey shows, striking a contrast to the more modest levels of optimism expressed by CEOs.