What to look for in a great CFO

The financials of any corporate concern are of paramount importance, as keeping them healthy is crucial to keep profits increasing and stock prices rising.

As a company grows in size, this task shouldn’t fall on the CEO’s shoulders anymore, as the chief executive needs to focus on matters of greater importance, and the increasing complexity of a company’s balance sheets shouldn’t be one of them.

Instead, they should delegate this important responsibility to a CFO, or chief financial officer. This executive’s sole role is to make sure that the company remains in compliance with tax laws, that revenues keep rising, and that downside risks are minimized.

Kingstown Capital has been run by a highly motivated and intelligent CFO for years, and it has yielded them amazing results leading up to the present.

If you want to achieve the same success that this company has enjoyed, here’s what you need to look for in a great CFO.

1) They must have excellent analytical skills

Given that a CFO deals with numbers on a daily basis, hiring someone with top notch analytical skills should be your #1 priority.

In this day and age of Big Data, there has never been such a wide array of information available for decision-making purposes.

The best CFO’s know which data sets to pay attention to and the courses of action that should be taken as a result of their analysis.

The CFO candidates that can draw the most insightful conclusions based on what on where the company is and the direction their industry is headed will give their company a big advantage versus their competition.

2) They must be comfortable with risk

The pace of technological disruptions of traditional industries have only increased over the years and there are no signs that it will slow down anytime soon.

Any company looking to hire a CFO needs to embrace this reality by bringing on talent that is able to adapt in the face of constant change, and is comfortable with managing risk.

To be honest, the latter aspect has always been part of a financial officer’s job, but in the 2010s and beyond, the stakes are even higher for established businesses.

Nobody in the grocery industry thought big tech was coming to steal their lunch until Jeff Bezos bought Whole Foods.

In the same way, your CFO must always anticipate who might be gunning for their market share tomorrow, and this consideration should guide decisions they undertake.

3) They should be tech savvy

This deep into the 21st century, there is no excuse for any chief executive to be ignorant about the state of technology and where it is headed.

Not only should they be aware of downside risks as mentioned above, but they should have an implicit understanding of technologies that could help their company grow by leaps and bounds.

While defending yourself against the effects of technological disruption is important, going on offense will ensure that your company will thrive instead of stagnating in the face of surging competition.



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