Robert Walters specialist Finance team attended the CFO Symposium, part of a series of regional events across Australia. Chief Financial Officers, Finance Directors, General Managers of Finance, Group Financial Controllers and Chief Accountants from organisations headquartered within Queensland shared their knowledge while discussing major local and global challenges Australian CFOs are facing in today’s ever changing environment.
Here are some key takeaways for CFOs to keep in mind:
1. Be a soft skills’ advocate - It takes much more than analysing the numbers behind transactions. Finance professionals are now expected to have qualities needed to be strategic advisors. This means stakeholder management, efficiency and control, overall strategy improvements to engagement with staff members and effective communication skills.
2. Engage by seeking input from all levels - Understand operations and customers by asking employees across the entire organisation questions and involving them in key processes. Making employee involvement a priority when developing the overall strategy will ensure the company’s goals are aligned with those of stakeholders.
3. Get a mentor/business coach – You may have reached the C-suite but from time to time you’ll still need professional guidance. Mentors can provide advice based on first-hand experience and skills to help develop leadership abilities. CFOs often build their success by networking. Mentors can help as they have connections with a variety of professionals including clients, professionals, suppliers and partners.
4. Be agile and open to new ideas – Collaboration, innovation and open mindedness are key attributes promoting the creation of new ideas leading to success. Flexibility is encouraged through employee’s self-management by letting them choose the best way to optimise performance and solve challenges within the organisation.
It’s finding the right balance between being consultative with the CEO, taking initiative where required and acting with purpose that will lead you to become the CFO of tomorrow.
5. Be a team player – do not act in isolation – The CFO plays a critical role in shaping a company’s strategy. Shift the way you view yourself from being self-centric to becoming more altruistic. Making other team members feel important will encourage positive perceptions within the organisation.
6. Adopt a forward thinking approach - embrace change – Today’s ever changing business environment requires CFOs to adopt an informed and forward thinking approach to decision making. By adopting continual learning processes and looking out for latest insights, you will be able to embrace change in a proactive way.
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