by Rob Joseph, Director, BeaconCFO Plus
Understanding the Resilient CFO
Today’s financial environment is challenging because of uncertainty, rapid change, competitive pressure, production and supply problems, increasing prices, and increasing customer demands.
When things are going smoothly, we don’t talk about resilience as being crucial for a successful CFO. But the last time things went smoothly for your average small- to medium-sized business enterprise was—let’s see—never. So, a CFO today needs to be a “wartime consigliere,” to borrow from everyone’s favorite business movie, The Godfather.
That means performing best under pressure, providing solid and even transcendent insight during circumstances fraught with dilemmas, and putting in the extra hours and effort when needed, even if it means “going to the mattresses.”
And it’s not enough for a CFO to be resilient in character: He or she must be willing to help your organization achieve greater operational resilience. This is true for both the short- and long-term.
For many businesses, COVID-19 forced our hands at short-term resilience—for example, many companies switched to remote work practices or created a schedule to limit employees in the office in order to enable social distancing. As dependable clients began canceling orders or couldn’t make their payment due dates, CFOs were forced to adapt, shift, and respond quickly to protect business continuity.
Today’s CFO must look beyond the short-term and move to long-term resilience. A global pandemic certainly throws a large wrench in your business plan, but the resilient CFO is always looking ahead at potential disruptions. Yes, disruption creates headaches and risks but also—if managed creatively and wisely—new opportunities.
If your business is striving to become more resilient, a CFO can play an integral role in charting the course. While you may not currently have a full-time CFO on staff, you can hire a part-time or project-based CFO to step in and provide essential financial leadership, systems, and processes. These are just a few of the ways an outsourced CFO can help your organization become more resilient.
How can CFOs build a more resilient organization?
- Put employees first, and preserve strong employee retention.
- Watch customer behavior closely—and respond quickly.
- Put the right financial systems in place to monitor business risks in real time.
- Look for strategic partnerships—including upgrading your banking relationships.
- Improve cash flow.
If you would like to speak to one of our experienced virtual CFOs, reach out to request a complimentary consultation. We’ll talk about your current situation, any questions or pressing concerns, and discuss possible solutions to take your business to the next level of growth and success.