Today, the role of the finance manager is under the watchful eye of different stakeholders, both inside and outside organizations, pressuring them to reduce costs, increase revenues and maintain control. Increasing scrutiny from investors has put CFOs under stringent scrutiny, and increasingly complex regulations don’t make it easy either.
The work of a professional who occupies this position must focus above all on the financial and corporate strategy of the company, ultimately being an advisor to the General Management.
But in addition to these functions, a financial manager must have the following competencies and skills:
- Systemic and strategic thinking
- Business judgment, experience and current preparation
- Ethical and honest behavior
- Analytical skills
With regard to analytical skills, you must have skills to contribute, support ideas and question the ideas of others, maintaining trust and respect; you will need leadership skills and the ability to relate to and manage people’s work;
You must enjoy good treatment, respect for forms, education, ease of speech to deal with members of the company and external people; You will need to have negotiation skills, and will require knowledge of financial markets, financial theory, strategy, planning and management control (not only financial), etc.
The four roles
The current CFO is expected to fill four different roles.The two traditional roles are that of custodian : protecting and preserving the organization’s assets by minimizing risk and keeping books. And operator : balances capabilities, costs and service levels to meet the basic responsibilities of the finance area.
But it is increasingly relevant that the Finance Manager is a strategist , helping to define the strategy and direction; and the catalyst that stimulates behaviors throughout the organization, installing a way of seeing things beyond their own area, to achieve financial and strategic objectives.
It has to operate the finance area efficiently and effectively, providing a series of services to the organization, such as financial analysis and planning, among others.
He occupies a relevant position in defining the company’s strategies, contributing to the decision of the direction that the organization will take in the future. This role implies aligning the financial strategy with that of the business, to stimulate growth. It also collaborates in the strategy of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), financing through capital markets, and provides comprehensive support to long-term investment decisions.
Stimulates and leads the timely execution of changes in the finance function and in the company. It can selectively direct initiatives such as cost reduction, or improvements in supply, pricing strategy, and other innovative processes that add value to the organization.
You must protect the vital assets of the company, ensure compliance with financial regulations, check the correct closing of the books, and communicate efficiently with the board of directors and investors.
Some of the characteristics that are required of a CFO when opening a selection process are:
- Negotiation skills (since you have to deal with banks frequently).
- Skills for obtaining and analyzing information.
- Synthesis capacity.
- Strategic perspective.
- Pressure tolerance, etc ..