Sunday, July 13, 2008

CFO Duties

I think the CFO responsibilities and the CFOs duties can be narrowed down to three things. Those three things are:

1. Managing and forecasting cash
2. Identifying and assessing all risk and preparing plans to mitigate risk
3. Understanding the things that make the specific industry the CFO is engaged in unique.

For the part time CFO it is vital to grasp these 3 concepts as soon as possible. Once the Part time CFO has these 3 things under their belt they can play a major role in the success of the company and the success of the companys strategic plan.

Since cash is the life blood of any business the part time CFO must be really in tune with managing the day to day cash flow. When managing cash for troubled companies the CFO must prioritize what needs to be paid. Forecasting cash needs using a 4 to 6 week model works well and helps the Chief Financial Officer identify what needs to be paid and can mange the cash accordingly.

Identifying and assessing risk will really tell the business owner where the land mines are in their business. This is an invaluable CFO Service to the business owner. If the CFO can tell the business owner when it is cloudy instead of when it is raining, the CFO will be worth their weight in gold.

People often ask me why does a numbers guy need to know about the business and the industry in which they work? Knowing the business and the industry is critical in managing cash and in identifying risk. Without this knowledge managing cash and identifying risk would be like reaching for a light switch in the dark.