by Rob Joseph, Director, BeaconCFO Plus


Understanding the Forward-Thinking CFO

What does it take to be a successful CFO today?

We’ve talked about a CFO’s need to embrace agile business techniques and how a CFO can help organizations achieve greater operational resilience

There’s another key characteristic of successful CFOs that we need to highlight: forward thinking. As Jeff Thomson writes in Forbes, “the CFO can evolve to become both a strategist and a futurist.” 

CFOs have a unique role: They must draw on data from the past to help guide the present actions of your business, as well as keep an eye on the future. We often tell our clients that you cannot drive safely by looking only in your rearview mirror. Past data is useful mostly because it informs a probable view of the future.

These “predictive powers,” as Thomson writes, can be a valuable asset to your business. Your CFO will follow any external issues that may impact the business—like a global pandemic—and cause disruption or supply chain issues. He or she will keep a pulse on market trends and emerging technologies and help your team determine the cost of using those technologies—or the cost of not choosing to adopt them.

Perhaps your small business is currently operating without a full-time CFO in place and you lack that key financial leadership to inform your business decisions. Outsourcing the services of a seasoned CFO on a part-time basis can be a game changer for your organization. Here’s more of what a forward-thinking CFO can bring to your business:

  • Help with short-term and long-term planning
  • Identify and mitigate risks to your operations
  • Guide company messaging based on future goals
  • Select and implement new software and technology to inform strategic planning
  • Develop a data-focused culture 
  • Encourage collaboration and partnership

The current environment is especially difficult to forecast because of inflation, supply chain interruptions, the rising cost of money, and war in Europe. Experience helps to refine predictions in times like these—and that’s something that an experienced CFO can bring to your organization. 

Consider how a virtual CFO can work alongside you and other company leaders to shape the future success of your business.


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We would be happy to answer any questions you may have about our outsourced CFO services and how a virtual CFO could become an integral member of your team. Please reach out to us for a complimentary consultation.

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