Betsy's Pretty Good Blog

CFOs are stepping up

June 25, 2014
“Still, another reason for the disappearance of the COO is that CFOs are now also considered prime candidates to become chief executives. While only 6% of the large companies’ sitting chief executives came directly from a CFO post, change is in the air. Today about 9 out of 10 CFO searches carry a requirement that candidates have the potential to lead the company…”
CFOs are stepping up to add operations to their duties

A recent article in CFO Magazine was about companies eliminating the COO position and operating duties being switched to CFOs.

My first reaction was “Wow! CFOs have a full plate now so adding all the operational duties on seems almost overwhelming.” This is a trend. In 2000 48% of Fortune 500 companies had COOs. Now it is 35%.

For a CFO to take on operations (including supply chain, IT, sales, procurement, HR, process improvement, inventory management etc.) could be a real challenge. The article points out that to make this work, it is absolutely necessary to have really strong people in finance and accounting to handle the day-to-day chores. One CFO pointed out that the project management skills he used for finance were really important to him in being able to take on all the operations responsibility as well.

The CFO job continues to morph and grow and demand more and more. Keeping up and developing the skills (including soft skills needed to lead and manage a company) is essential.

Here’s an upcoming course at the MNCPA you might consider


Deep commented on Jul. 25, 2014:
This is an interesting and tilemy post, however, in your critique of the bill you failed to mention that the purpose of this change is to generate tax income from small business income that frequently goes unreported. Ian, the problem is that the people that don't report the income now aren't going to do it when the law comes into effect. Most people abide by what the congress says, and they are the ones that already report income, and yet they are the ones getting penalized with extra bureaucratic crap to do. Law-abiding business owners will be spending more and more time filling out forms instead of helping current customers and getting new business.Ian said: . . .government subsidies to those small businesses will either reduce health care costs or lessen the cost burden for employees. . . while the new bill will increase the administrative paperwork burden, the ultimate aggregate cost effect will likely be neutral. Tying this bill to a driver of unemployment is a stretch to say the least. With respect, it is a driver for unemployment. This legislation will have the effect of raising healthcare costs, not lowering them. The more costs per worker a company has, the less funds the company has to hire more workers. Of course, some people like to cite the CBO which says this will reduce costs. Keep in mind this is the same CBO that said the Iraq war would be at most $85 to $200 billion, but the actual numbers are somewhere around $3 to $4 trillion.The bottom line is that this is going to hurt smaller businesses and the extra costs of complying with all the new laws are going to stop some new businesses from even starting by creating an artificial barrier to entry. Sadly, the only people that will be able to shoulder all of this easily are very large corporations with large amounts of money, large office staffs, and large numbers of lobbyists.***My apologies for my lengthy soapbox rant. If this is comment is deleted, I completely understand.

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