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Reinventing the CFO: How Financial Managers Can Transform Their Roles And Add Greater Value

Book Description

On the heels of a decade of scandals and the new pressures brought on by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, corporations expect far more from their CFOs than simply managing the numbers. They expect decision-making support and performance insights that can improve bottom-line results. Unfortunately, the complexity and detail inherent in CFOs’ jobs keep them shackled to budgeting and transaction-processing systems that leave little time for value-adding activities.

Jeremy Hope says it’s time to redefine the role of CFOs in today’s organizations, liberating them from ineffective number-crunching responsibilities and enabling them to focus on helping managers improve performance. Grounded in extensive research, Reinventing the CFO outlines seven critical roles—from streamlining redundant processes to regulating risk to identifying a few key measures—that CFOs must take on in order to successfully transform the finance operation.

Challenging many of the finance field’s accepted practices and systems, this bold book revolutionizes the role of financial managers and frees them to make smart, ethical, strategic decisions that add real value to the firm.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Table of Contents
  5. PREFACE
  6. INTRODUCTION
  7. CHAPTER ONE - THE CFO AS FREEDOM FIGHTER
    1. Rescue Managers from Information Overload
    2. Simplify Systems and Reports
    3. Focus on Truth and Transparency
    4. Avoid Unnecessary Tools and Systems
  8. CHAPTER TWO - THE CFO AS ANALYST AND ADVISER
    1. Strike the Right Balance Between Control and Decision Support
    2. Build a High-performance Team
    3. Use Technology to Deliver High-quality Information
    4. Provide Effective Decision Support
    5. Becoming a Valued Business Partner at American Express
  9. CHAPTER THREE - THE CFO AS ARCHITECT OF ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT
    1. Design Adaptive Systems from the Customer’s Perspective
    2. Manage Through Continuous Planning Cycles
    3. Make Rolling Forecasts the Primary Management Tool
    4. Report Key Metrics Daily and Weekly
    5. Enable Fast Access to Resources
    6. Focus Accountability on the Relative Performance of Teams
  10. CHAPTER FOUR - THE CFO AS WARRIOR AGAINST WASTE
    1. Dismantle Head Office Bureaucracy
    2. Manage Processes and Flow Rather Than Functions and Activities
    3. Manage Fixed Costs Through Directional Goals and Ratios Rather Than Cost Budgets
    4. Make Central Services Responsive to Internal Customers
    5. Match Capacity to Current Demand
    6. Ensure That All Projects Are Necessary and Add Value
  11. CHAPTER FIVE - THE CFO AS MASTER OF MEASUREMENT
    1. Measure to Learn and Improve
    2. Choose the Right Measures
    3. See Measurement as Patterns, Trends, and Abnormalities
    4. Provide External Reality Checks
    5. Use a Range of Measures to Inform a Dialogue About Management Performance
  12. CHAPTER SIX - THE CFO AS REGULATOR OF RISK
    1. Set the Highest Standards of Ethical Reporting and Behavior
    2. Regularly Review the Key Pressure Points for Excessive Risk Taking
    3. Manage Risk Across the Whole Organization
    4. Approach Uncertainty with an Open Mind
    5. Provide Effective Feedback Controls
  13. CHAPTER SEVEN - THE CFO AS CHAMPION OF CHANGE
    1. Make a Compelling Case for Change
    2. The Compelling Case for Change at the World Bank
    3. Set Some Directional Goals and Get Started
    4. Gain the Support of Key People
    5. Involve Operating People in the Change Process
    6. Avoid More Complexity
    7. Show Some Early Wins
    8. Be Patient but Maintain the Momentum
  14. NOTES
  15. INDEX
  16. ABOUT THE AUTHOR