Is this the Year of the CFO?
The Economist calls this the year of the CFO, a year in which CFOs are more critical than ever to their organizations.
"As financial skills are valued more highly, CFOs will make it to the corner office in greater numbers than before," the article reads. "Recession, credit crunch and the increasingly complex nature of global companies will all play directly into the bean counter’s hands."
(Source: The Economist Magazine, "The World in 2009," November 2008)
It is no wonder that MACPA's own Tom Foard was sought out to give his unique perspective on the newspaper industry in a recent interview with the Baltimore Business Journal. (The photo above is from the BBJ's Nicholas Griner.) Tom knows a bit about the changes in this industry since he is the CFO of Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc., an outsourced delivery provider to major publishers like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today.
This got me thinking about Tom's saying that the CFO wears many hats, especially in today's small and medium-size organization. All of these hats are essential to business success in these turbulent times. He has even developed a program for our Business Learning Institute titled Hats in the CFO Belfry, to highlight the sometimes crazy world of the CFO as they wear so many hats. Here are some of the hats, according to Tom:
- Historian: Accounting for the organization
- Detective: Fraud, internal audit and preparing for the external audit
- Scribe: Financial reporting
- Futurist: Forecasting and budgeting
- Fireman: Protecting the organization thru enterprise risk management
- Policeman: Keeping order through compliance (SOX, tax, internal control, governance)
- Coach: Maintaining fiscal and financial fitness
Tom is a past chairman of the MACPA. He has been an active volunteer leader in the CPA profession, serving in many capacities with the MACPA, the AICPA and Financial Executives International. As chairman of MACPA's Business and Industry Committee, he played a significant role in reviving our extremely popular Business and Industry Conference. He is now chairman of the AICPA Business and Industry Executive Committee and a member of the MACPA's AICPA Council delegation.
All of our "hats" are off to you Tom!
What do you think: Is this the year of the CFO and why (or why not)?