The CFO'S Perspective

Alex de Soto

Alex de Soto

Alex de Soto anchors the CFO Selections search practice. He brings over 25 years of experience in accounting, finance, human resources, and executive search to his role as leader of the search team. Since 2008, he has spent most of his time helping CEO’s and CFO’s of Pacific Northwest based companies find that unique match they seek for a CFO or Controller.

Recent Posts by Alex de Soto:

How to Deal With the Retirement of Your Accounting Leader

A business owner should always have a succession plan, yet at the same time be ready when a member of their executive team is ready to implement their own exit strategy, i.e., retirement. The Great Recession caused many people to need to work longer until retiring because of the loss of income and value of retirement assets. But now, a decade has passed, which has given some the time to replenish their retirement savings. As a result of the COVID19 pandemic many people are re-evaluating what is important to them, and in many instances, it means retiring a few years sooner than originally planned.

Topics: CFO Planning Leadership Transition

Do I Have the Right CFO at This Point in Time?

A vital part of a business’s success is the strength of its management team.  This is always true, in good times, and during a crisis.  A successful business needs all oars of the boat pulling together at the same time.  And the boat needs to be headed in the right direction.

The current economic crisis is highlighting the importance of strong financial leadership.  That is undoubtedly true, given the flurry of new government aid programs and the impact of stay at home orders.  But a business owner always needs strong financial leadership.  In a healthy economy, the owner needs to make sure they are operating at maximum efficiency to take advantage of likely higher gross margin opportunities, or to make sure an investment in a new product or service has long term value.

This article points out a few areas to consider in determining if you currently have the “right CFO” and a pointer on “buyer beware” if you are considering making a change in CFO during a time of high unemployment.

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring Transition

Too Few or Too Many CFOs?

As the leader of our executive search practice, the most common question I get asked is, “What is the market like for CFOs?” 

My reply has generally been, “Well, in the Pacific Northwest there is an oversupply of experienced CFOs but not enough ‘up and comer’ CFOs”. 

I also mention: “It will cost you a lot more to get an inexperienced CFO than it did in the past.” 

Why do I say this?  It is all about demographics and supply and demand.

Topics: Recruiting Search Services Hiring HR

How Does Your CFO Spend Their Day?

 

Ever wonder why your CFO spends more time in their office than anywhere else? Or maybe you have a CFO who is always out meeting with people outside your business when you are trying to talk with them about an issue? Do you have a Controller who feels ignored by your CFO?  Do you have a CFO who is great at talking about the needs of your business, but can’t seem to answer a detailed question about the financial statements?

In my years as a CPA/auditor, an employee within companies in finance management roles, and as a recruiter focusing on senior finance positions, it is very apparent one can put a CFO in three categories.

Of course, not everyone is a single variety grape wine, most people are a blend, but I have found these three categories quickly summarize the most common types of CFO in the eyes of the CEO and others in an organization. 

The question as a CEO or business owner is, do you have the right type for your organization?

Topics: Recruiting CFO Hiring Staffing

DEAR EDITOR: I am a CEO

The holidays are here. Letters are pouring in to Santa and to our editor. Here is one such letter and the editor's response.

“DEAR EDITOR: I am a CEO.
  Some of my friends say there are no good CFO’s.
  Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
  Please tell me the truth; are there any good CFO’s?”
 ----- From Virginia, CEO

Topics: CFO