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What keeps CFOs and finance pros up at night?

DSC05381 That was the topic at our Business and Industry Roundtable last week. The issues may surprise you.

Here are the top 10 trends and issues facing CFOs and finance professionals:

  1. Communicating effectively (new tools vs. face-to-face)
  2. Talent / training / succession planning
  3. Economic environment
  4. Generational / work-life balance
  5. Supply chain / rising costs
  6. Strategic planning in uncertainty
  7. Financial literacy about business
  8. Increasing government regulations
  9. IT security / privacy
  10. Multi-tasking and increasing workload

These were developed after hearing updates by Tom Foard (an AICPA Board of Directors member and past chair of the MACPA and the AICPA BIEC) and Joeslin Martin (chair of the MACPA's Business and Industry Committee). The group also came up with some brainstorms for MACPA to help them deal with this increasingly complex and uncertain environment.

Here were some of my favorite insights from this engaging dialogue:

  • The CFO as CAO (Chief Alignment Officer): More and more, the CFO is being called on to make sure the organization is aligned around the business strategy and linkages to the business model, budget, etc.
  • Financial profesisonals must go from bean counter to bean growers, helping the business manage both the top line and bottom lines.
  • The CFO as a strategic partner driving the business. (Joselin brought in an article titled 10 Questions for Quest CFO Scott Davidson that highlights this trend.)
  • Tom Foard highlighted the need for "success skills" like those the MACPA has developed through the Business Learning Institute -- communications. leadership, strategic and critical thinking, and more.

Here is a copy of the meeting notes:

MACPA Business & Industry Roundtable - August 2011 View more presentations from Tom Hood. Here is our CPA Career Video How are you dealing with this rapidly changing environment?