In the past decade, the classic image of the number-crunching chief financial officer has all but vanished to make way for the more nimble, generally trained, modern CFO. The expectations for these financial executives from investors and employers are high, but the skill sets and work environments are constantly evolving.
“It’s no longer like the old days when you had the bean counters sitting in a little room,
The comedian Barry Cryer tells a story about a Finance Director walking down the street. The FD is approached by a homeless man. “Excuse me, mate” says the man “can you spare me a few quid, I haven’t eaten for two weeks”? “ I see” says the FD “And how does that compare with the same period last year”?
Of course, no FD would be that heartless but the story also hides a deeper truth – most of us think in fixed periods of time,
Colin Mills – Founder & CEO, The FD Centre Limited (www.thefdcentre.co.uk)
So, to be a highly effective FD in your business, you have to be up to date on all the latest accounting standards, be really up to speed on the latest developments in tax legislation and spend long hours in your office reviewing reconciliations and signing off VAT returns. That’s right isn’t it?
Our experience over ten years suggests that highly effective FDs need a rather different set of skills to be effective and “make a difference” in the businesses they work for.