The Changing Role of the CFO and Controller
From Financial Analysis to Business Operations, the Influence of CPAs in Corporate Finance Continues to Grow
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Thomas Barnes, CPA
Operations Controller, CHEMSTREAM INC.
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A CFO should be an adviser, counselor, and confidant to the CEO – a consigliere or chief of staff. What are the attributes that make CFOs good advisers? Find out as this blog discusses those attributes as highlighted in Richard Hytner's Consiglieri: Leading from the Shadows and Chris Whipple's The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency.
Many organizations, having come to understand how much effort goes into producing and distributing financial and operational reports, are starting to rethink the processes. Seeing the need for change, some are undertaking what is known as a financial and operational data transformation initiative.
Many CPAs may think achieving the chief financial officer (CFO) position will be the pinnacle of their career, but that shouldn't be the case. The strongest CEOs are those who are the most fiscally responsible, so the move from CFO to CEO should be thought of as a natural progression.
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Valuation is critical when preparing for a business transition, whether it’s an acquisition by an outside party or a transfer of ownership to a family member or key employee. Valuation is a broad and subjective concept, and critical factors can be interpreted differently. This can lead to a disparity in valuation opinions. As such, it is important to start the valuation process with a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts.
Sustainability reporting, or social accountability as it is sometimes called, is receiving increased attention. It has been defined as encouraging companies to go beyond their legal responsibilities to invest in and improve their human capital, physical environment, and relations with diverse stakeholders. In this column, we look at the importance of social accountability in the minds of corporate leaders, review the research that investigates the performance of companies that embrace sustainability reporting, and discuss disclosure frameworks.
In this podcast, Steven G. Blum, CPA, CFE, principal with Control Risks Group in Washington, D.C., and a member of the Pennsylvania CPA Journal Editorial Board, previews his feature from the summer 2021 Pennsylvania CPA Journal. Blum offers tips for helping companies manage thorough whistleblower investigations, including having an established process in place and effectively responding to allegations.
In a preview of his presentation at the March 18-19 PICPA CFOs and Controllers Conference, “CFO Whisperer” David Axson, a CFO strategist and adviser, joins us to discuss the role of the organizational advisor. We also touch on how COVID-19 has shaped the function as well as the future for finance professionals.