The CFO'S Perspective

Business Continuity Planning and Risk Management

One of your most important tasks as a business leader and manager is mitigating risk. Understanding what kind of risk exists, planning for the impact of this risk, and executing continuity plans to keep the organization operational during a disruption is of paramount importance. The earlier risk can be identified, assessed, managed, and integrated into strategic planning, the better.

Typically, this burden falls on the C-Suite, but leaders at all levels should be included in the planning stage to ensure buy-in across the company. According to CFO Magazine, CFOs have seen risk management fall under their umbrella more over the last decade. They explain,

“The CFO’s role has expanded in recent years, perhaps most notably in the area of risk management. Finance chiefs frequently took charge of assessing and guarding against risk during the financial crisis, and as the economy has slowly recovered, few have relinquished the task. More than half of the finance executives responding to CFO’s latest Deep Dive Survey say their responsibility for risk management has increased.”

Not much has changed in the years since, with CFOs taking more ownership of risk than ever before, whether they want to spearhead this role or not.

While it is easy to task an individual with overseeing risk management, ideally, it should not roll up to a single person. An emphasis on risk mitigation should be ingrained across the organization with alignment and compliance at every level. CFOs leading the charge can get their organizations on board to share the responsibility by taking a four-step approach to business continuity planning.

Topics: Planning Risk Management 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

Certainty in Uncertain Times

In uncertain times businesses need continued access to experienced bookkeepers and accountants to keep cash flowing. Whether the need is part-time, interim, or project-based, a third-party financial professional can offer the information needed to make strategic business decisions. This need does not change when people are working remotely. In fact, with so many businesses temporarily pausing operations, the need for bookkeepers and accountants is likely greater than ever before.

While the future may be uncertain, there is one immutable certainty – businesses still have access to the reputable, qualified bookkeepers and accountants that they need to keep their organizations afloat. These kinds of key personnel aren’t going anywhere and are available to help businesses navigate today’s unique challenges.

Topics: Finance Accounting Hiring Change Management Transition COVID-19

2020 Pandemic Crisis – What to Focus on Right Now

This is an uncertain time for business owners.

Difficult questions like deciding whether to pause operations, continue a lease, apply for a loan, or lay off employees, are on the minds of business owners across the country. Many are confused about their tax obligations in the face of new legislation. Most are worried about maintaining proper security and managing communications effectively with a larger percentage of their employees working remotely. Some are concerned about how they will repair the brand damage that is occurring as a result of not being able to fulfill their brand promise to their customers.

Frequently shifting state and local regulations have left the waters murky for many businesses, especially in highly seasonal industries. Some business owners may be wrestling with the question of whether their businesses will be able to reopen at all after the shelter in place orders and social distancing recommendations have been lifted.

Topics: Change Management Transition Strategy COVID-19

The Role of the Board During Leadership Transitions

Is there anyone flying this plane?

In too many cases, a nonprofit board’s approach to leadership turnover is hectic, not well thought out or planned, reactive instead of proactive. Most often, the board  is group of passionate, well-meaning volunteers who are now faced with the single most important role they will have: selecting a new leader. How the board navigates the transition will directly impact the future and potential viability of the organization.

Topics: Non Profit Organizations Leadership Transition