The Critical Skills Your CFO Needs This Year

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The role of the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is in a state of transition. Around 1 in 3 CEOs are now concerned their CFOs may not be prepared for the challenges ahead.  

While the historical tasks of the CFO, such as record keeping and financial reporting, are still crucial, there are new concerns for these professionals to consider. Today’s CFO must be able to understand financial data and use it to support the strategy and growth of the business.  

Today’s CFOs are increasingly breaking away from the number-crunching stereotypes of old-fashioned roles and becoming key strategic players in the company.  

Here are just some of the essential skills you’ll need to look for in a CFO this year.  

1. Leadership and Management 



As “chief” staff members in your workforce, CFOs have always needed management and leadership skills. However, as the CFO role becomes more fundamental in the key decision-making strategies of the business, the demand for leadership skills is greater than ever. 

To become an effective “partner” for your business, your CFO now needs excellent communication and inspirational skills. These individuals need to be able to give counsel and advice and act as a voice of reason in certain situations.  

CFOs will play more roles in group-wide transformation programs designed to minimise costs and operational expenses. They will need to know how to translate complex concepts into terms anyone can understand. 

2. Strategy and Problem Solving 

When the financial landscape and economy are growing more volatile and complex, with increased regulatory burdens and challenges to overcome, CFOs need to be able to detect and mitigate risk fast. When searching for a CFO, business leaders need to look for strategic individuals. 

A strong CFO should assess the entire marketplace and any information relevant to the business when implementing risk management, growth, and business continuity plans. They should also be able to maintain a strong reporting process to provide consistent evidence the current strategy is working.  

A good CFO will need several problem-solving and strategic skills to prepare for any potential problem, from predictive modelling to agile change management. It will also be crucial for these professionals to communicate strategy to stakeholders.  

3. Vision 



Vision is an important characteristic of any CFO joining the “strategic” team at the head of the business. The CFO you attract to your company should cultivate a deep understanding of the business through extensive research and investigation.  

CFOs will regularly meet with the board, collaborate with managers, and conduct external and internal research to understand the company’s positioning. Using this knowledge and a deep understanding of the company’s goals, the CFO will provide independent perspectives and advice. These professionals must ensure business decisions are based on solid financial data and knowledge.  

With a clear vision of the company’s future and the goals the organisation is trying to reach, a CFO should also perform analytical tasks and identify opportunities for improved growth and development.  

4. Analytics and Data Management 

In the past, the role of the CFO has been heavily transactional, but this is beginning to change as data continues to drive the decisions of modern companies. A significant amount of your new CFO’s time will likely be dedicated to analytics, which means these professionals need at least a basic understanding of leveraging and using data.  

According to studies, around 93% of people believe decisions made in the future will be influenced by data analysis. While a CFO may not need to be a full data scientist to thrive, they will need to understand the basics.  

Knowing how to examine common forms of financial data, like cash flow analysis and profitability reports, in conjunction with the business’s wider information will help CFOs make better decisions. 

5. Tech Proficiency 



Along with the rise of data and analytics in the business landscape comes the proliferation of new tech software and applications. Most CFOs will already be using various tools and apps to analyse financial information, communicate with colleagues in the hybrid workforce, and produce visual reports.  

Today’s leaders should feel confident exploring new technology and invest in whatever training may be required to ensure their continued productivity.  

Finding Your New CFO 

As the role of the CFO changes and grows more complex, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for business leaders to find the talent they need in a skills-short marketplace. Now more than ever, it pays to have the support of a specialist recruitment team.  

The right recruitment partner will help you identify the skills your CFO might need to thrive in your specific organisation. Through the networks they actively build, you will locate the right individual for you. 

What’s Next? 

Working with a dedicated financial recruiter will make sure you can seek out the specialist talent you need for your SFO position, even as the nature of the role continues to change. 

With years of experience assisting financial companies in finding the right candidates for their open positions, Rebus will help you find the talent you need.  

Reach out to us today via email or 01282 930 930 to get started.  

About Rebus Financial Recruitment

Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, ranging from various organisations, including SMEs, to large PLCs.     

We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs, and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.  

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