“CFOs want, and say they need, a prime seat at the table when setting strategy.” – WSJ

Being a top finance chief holds a lot of pressure, and in this new economic climate, they don’t want to just manage finances or operations, their desire to take on more responsibility extends into improving the long-term strategic market position their company holds.

‘While the economic landscape may be tamer, the pressures on finance chiefs and their companies to perform continue to mount,’ with everything from cyber security threats, retaining talent, and capital allocation keeping CFOs up at night.

Here are five things that will keep them happy.

  1. A solid working relationship with the CEO

The industry has changed and CEOs cannot do their job by themselves any longer, meaning there is a heavy reliance on the chief financial officer for strategic advice. However, CFOs, like many other positions, need to be able to see eye to eye with their boss. They need to be on the same page in terms of financial forecasting, but they also have to execute their own recommendations. In fact, nearly 25% of CFOs leave their posts within 12 months of getting a new boss. But that number climbs to above 33% two years out and rises to 42% by the end of year three. 

  1. The ability to set strategy

CFOs at large companies are no longer content to manage just finances or operations. They want a prime seat at the table when setting strategy and to be a part of a core team that really runs the business. As discussed in a WSJ article, “[CFOs want to] get deeply involved in the overall direction of the firm by setting the framework for strategic discussion and drawing upon their own finance support function to help drive the agenda.”

  1. Smarter budgeting solutions

Having a financial planning and analysis software to integrate it seamlessly into the overall picture of the business saves not only time but also money by consolidating these processes. Finance leaders are major proponents to shift time from consolidating spreadsheets all day to understanding what the data is telling them for a complete view of their company’s financial status.

  1. A booming economy

It goes without saying, that a thriving economy is great for everyone. So naturally, rising CFO optimism has been an early indicator of a strengthening economy, with the employment picture looking better and better. Stronger cash forecasting is indicative of an economic recovery in many industries – meaning financial leaders have more confidence behind their numbers for capital allocation. It also represents that we aren’t living in volatile times with weakened dollars, although the pressure is still on business leaders to continually perform at a high level with new waves of competition flooding in.

  1. Grooming top talent on the finance team

Winning the war for top finance talent is something CFOs have to worry about in addition to the onslaught of other concerns that keep them up at night. The ability to groom finance teams has grown challenging with a competitive environment, and cutting-edge companies having the inside track on molding their finance leaders of tomorrow. And it’s not just recruiting and retaining talent, it’s finding finance professionals that have a new school mentality of problem-solving and how to take a 360-degree look at obstacles that plague modern companies.

Financial software is a key asset on a CFOs wish list - Limelight provides a smart and fresh take on excel with a single, complete solution to financial management.

Limelight allows you to view, build and publish budgets, forecasts, and reports in one single web-based application.

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