The Role of Today’s CFO and How Accounting Software Enables Success

The role of today’s CFO and Controller are changing, or at least the perception is changing.  Many of you reading this may already be fulfilling these “new” roles.  If you’re not, don’t be surprised if board members, constituents, and leaders on your team begin to expect you to fulfill your job in new ways.

According to Ron Rael’s article, “The Traits of Today’s CFO”, the roles that CFOs and Controllers will be expected to fill include:

  • Collaborator: Being able to work with others is something we were taught at a young age, but too often, we find reasons to put up walls and be negative.  Rael points out that it is imperative that CFOs demonstrate their ability to work toward the goals of the organization and not just throw up barriers.
  • Consultant: Organizations are expecting CFOs to anticipate problems and provide solutions long before matters are out of hand and goals are missed.
  • Communicator: Providing transparent, meaningful data is critical to an organization’s health. Communicating the information as a “truth teller” emphasizes the value of the CFO’s role.
  • Strategic Leader:  Leading the strategy instead of reacting to it may not be a new role for many CFO’s, but a new expectation by the board and the management team. If you are not acting as a strategic leader, it’s time to start taking initiative and find your place on the team.

If you are not already performing in these roles, then it is time to take the steps to put yourself into the roles of collaborator, consultant, communicator, and strategic leader.  Leveraging the right financial management software can enable you to better fill these roles.

Your financial management software should provide the following:

  1. Easy access to key information:  Data should not only be accessible to the CFO and finance team, but to managers and employees as well.  Portals and remote access allow employees outside of the finance team to access the right information when they need it, freeing up CFOs to focus on Strategic Leadership.  Access is vital, but if the data and reports aren’t available, then access is pointless.  Your software should make it easy to get to the information needed by the different roles in your organization, from fund raising to management.
  2. Robust, yet built specifically for the needs of a nonprofit organization: Using software that is built for a nonprofit, but is as robust as the best accounting software for the corporate environment, provides CFOs of nonprofits the best of both worlds.  Make sure the nonprofit pieces of the software, or the accounting pieces for that matter, are not an afterthought but integrated components of the software.
  3. Optimal reporting: The saying “knowledge is power” resides in the hands of the CFO as much as anyone.  A primary tool to launching your Strategic Leader/Consultant role is leveraging the reports that tell you the state of your organization today, as well as forecasting what needs to occur to reach your goals for this quarter and the next.

If your financial management software is not empowering you to move into the new roles expected of today’s CFO, then it may be time for an upgrade.  Attend a free webinar of Serenic Navigator, built on Microsoft Dynamics, to see how CFOs from organizations like the American Urological Association, Archdiocese of Atlanta, American Psychological Association, and others are empowered by their software to fulfill the roles of Collaborator, Consultant, Communicator, and Strategic Leader.

AVF Consulting is a leading Serenic partner and Microsoft Silver ERP partner serving nonprofit organizations and NGOs across the United States. Visit our events page and register for a complimentary webinar to see if Serenic Navigator is right for your nonprofit accounting needs.

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ERP professionals providing insight and advice for not for profit organizations.