Despite all the economic and regulatory uncertainties, this is a great moment in time for CFOs. Controls and compliance are stronger than ever in the wake of the accounting scandals of the early 2000’s. And the recent economic turmoil has left staffing levels lean, operating costs honed to maximum efficiency, balance sheets deleveraged, and capital spending plans aligned with economic realities. After
trusting in CFOs to steer the right course through tough times, employers are now looking to you to take a leading role in strategies
to grow and better serve stakeholders in the years ahead.
What Will it Take to Succeed?
To succeed in 2012 and beyond, CFOs will need the same leadership skills that have stood the test of time and served their employers well in the past; plus, the courage to persevere and the willingness to expand into new frontiers.
At CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., we feel three traits are critical: ethics, insights, and balance.
CFOs will always need a solid bedrock foundation of ethics. No matter how much the world changes, CFOs will still set the tone at the top for important aspects of financial reporting and business operations. To do this well, CFOs need to know how business operations are reflected in financial reporting, and you also need to understand how financial reporting affects managerial behavior. This is especially important as regulators increase their scrutiny of areas ranging from pay-for-performance plans and funding of multi-employer pension plans to the reporting of breaches of cybersecurity and anti-bribery laws. Your unwavering commitment to high-quality reporting and an appropriate code of conduct helps to ensure the right values are in place for attracting, developing and retaining the talent needed for healthy growth.
More than ever before, CFOs will need to possess (or have access to) a broad range of knowledge and insights to respond appropriately to the ever-changing volumes of data, rules, and regulations that affect employers and their workers. Accounting standards are changing at an unprecedented pace. Standard setters are considering big changes for both public and non-public entities. Extensive tax reforms are looming on the horizon. Regulators are rethinking the roles of audits and auditors. Key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act are still unfolding. Commodity prices are volatile, adding to the challenges of product costing and pricing decisions. Major uncertainties complicate the health care laws scheduled to take effect in 2014. And, investments in technology are complicated by cloud computing and a blurring of consumer and business technology.