The CFO'S Perspective

Interviewing Alex de Soto – Surprises, Myths, Remote Work & More

Alex de Soto has been a vital member of the CFO selections team for 14 years. Alex is a former Big-4 CPA and CFO who provides executive search services for owners and CEOs of Pacific Northwest-based companies looking for a CFO, VP Finance, or Controller.

He continues to lead the search practice of CFO Selections which provides talented senior finance leaders for interim, project, or part-time assignments.

CFO Selections continues to benefit from his 30 years as a Pacific Northwest-based business professional and his extensive network of business and finance leaders. Alex has worked with hundreds of CEOs and owners and interviewed thousands of CFOs. He has an exceptional understanding of the role of a CFO and the unique nature of what each CEO/owner needs in a CFO.

We recently sat down with Alex for a quick interview:

Topics: Success Stories This is Us

Is My CFO Underperforming?

As executive financial recruiters we work with companies every day who have lost their CFO for a variety of reasons. The CFO may have left to pursue a better opportunity, retired, or made a career change. And in some instances, the CFO may have been shown the door due to subpar performance.

In all honesty, the latter scenario is the least common. Most organizations are hesitant to let their CFO go because of the inherent doubt in the process of doing so. First, there is the big question of how to determine whether your CFO is making the grade. (You certainly do not want to let your CFO go if you cannot be certain that someone else will be able to do the job better!) And, secondly, there is the daunting prospect of needing to find a replacement that is going to be better performer.

But just because it is not very common in practice does not mean it should be. Companies, especially those with owners and CEOs that do not have strong financial acumen themselves, do not typically evaluate their financial leadership as thoroughly as they should. Unfortunately, if your CFO is underperforming, not identifying this in a timely manner or not doing anything about it, can be extremely costly. When your financial leadership is falling short of expectations, strategic planning can fail, affecting revenue and profitability.

Topics: CFO Analysis Leadership Growth CFO Responsibilities Assessment Strategy

How Your CFO Can Manage Supply Chain Disruptions

Import shipping from Asia has become a nightmare. According to McKinsey & Company, shipping costs for a 40-foot container have increased over five-fold in 2021, from $2,000 per container to $13,000. Container ships that finally arrive on the West Coast often have to wait offshore for a dock to open to offload their cargo. Once unloaded, containers can spend days or weeks in the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach, or Port of Seattle until rescued by a truck or intermodal train.

Topics: Trends Planning Manufacturing

How Do I get My Accountant to Come Back to the Office?

Employers that want their employees back in the office again are asking themselves the question, “How do I get my employees to return to work?” However, many employees are asking their employers, “Why should I return to work?” in response.

The resulting dichotomy has created a sticky situation for companies that are facing labor shortages and revenue challenges well over a year and a half into this crisis. For key departments like accounting and finance, the pressure is further elevated because these kinds of skilled roles are a hot commodity right now, making them even harder to replace.

Topics: Trends Staffing HR Leadership Change Management Transition COVID-19

4.5 Presentation Tips for CFOs – Delivering Excellence

As a CFO you live in the numbers. And like Neo in The Matrix, who can see falling green lines of computer code and read them to construct a picture of the world around him, they make sense to you.

However, when you sit down to present to your CEO, COO, CTO, CRO, CMO, or any other c-suite executive, you need to understand that they may not have the same affinity for numbers that you do. This is especially true when the executive leaders you are presenting to are less financially savvy or new to their roles or the industry.

When “non-numbers-people” see numbers, typically all they take away from it is the numbers themselves. However, when “numbers-people” see numbers, they see the whole picture – the story that the numbers are telling, how the metrics are related, and how they fit into the larger framework.

Knowing how to present to your audience is key in bridging the gap to move the business forward.

Topics: Financial Reports CFO Responsibilities