The CFO'S Perspective

Is On-Site Necessary Anymore? Examining Today’s Most Effective Workforce Structure

When talking with colleagues these days it is common to hear people discussing the effectiveness of remote work, especially regarding consulting work. We hear partners and clients saying things like, “I just don’t think we can replicate the kind of interpersonal relationships we used to have virtually.” Yet, at the same time, we hear their employees expressing little desire ever to return to the office full-time, opting instead for fully remote or hybrid work arrangements. This dichotomy begs the question, “Which is better, in-person or remote?”

Topics: Trends Planning Leadership Company Culture

Why Tech Skills are Essential for Today’s CFOs

Today’s top CFOs are vastly different than their predecessors because the CFO role itself has changed so dramatically over the last few decades. What used to be a strictly numbers-based executive financial role, has now evolved into a pivotal leadership position that touches numerous areas of the company including HR, IT, operations, manufacturing, sales, and marketing. And this sweeping change has ushered in a shift in what is expected of a CFO’s skillset as well.

The most salient difference is how today’s CFOs are required to utilize technology. CFOs are expected to be well versed in technology options for streamlining operations, meeting business needs, informing strategic decision making, and maximizing growth. As a result, tech proficiency has become the single most newly sought after skill when hiring a new CFO.

Topics: Recruiting Trends CFO Hiring CFO Responsibilities

Overcoming Supply Chain Difficulties – a CFO’s Perspective

Rapid growth in the US economy and the lingering impact of the pandemic on global supply chains have created problems for almost every industry.

The construction industry has been impacted by shortages of certain glues used to make composite building products leading to escalating construction costs and lengthy project delays.

The automotive industry has been impacted by the well-publicized shortage of computer chips, which is caused by the shortage of chip manufacturing capacity. Underlying causes include shortages of certain critical raw materials and a very small number of chip manufacturing equipment manufacturers.

Even restaurants have been hit with shortages of food containers for to-go orders because of shortages of natural gas feedstock for container manufacturers.

Nearly every business has been beset by delays in the delivery of everyday supplies that can be traced to a shortage of workers in the transportation and distribution industries.

There aren’t enough workers to load trucks at the warehouses or drive them down the highways. If essential supplies are available, they are likely to be higher-priced and available only with extended delivery dates.

Topics: Trends Supply Chain

The Great Resignation – The Accelerated Evolution of Work

A prospective consultant told me that he loved what he did during a recent interview. He had been working up the ranks for a long time, continually added skills and experience, and was in a place of high trust and value to his organization. He shared with me that he loved his profession had excellent skills but was not interested in working 70 hours a week at this point in his life and career. He asked, "Were there other options?"

Topics: Trends Change Management

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

The Convergence of Accounting and HR

Companies that understand how finance and HR overlap and foster a relationship between the two are better poised for long-term growth than their less informed counterparts. The reason behind this is simple – knowing when and how to leverage your CFO to assist with hiring and employee retention can improve profit margins, encouraging sustainable long-term growth. Additionally, encouraging collaboration between these two vital areas of the business improves workplace culture across the entire organization.

Topics: Recruiting Finance Accounting Trends Hiring Planning HR Leadership Budgeting Forecasting Strategy

What are the Benefits of Business Process Outsourcing?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) allows CEOs to focus on the job of running the entire business instead of getting bogged down with the management of individual departments and teams.

Effective outsourcing allows both large and small companies alike to lean on senior skillsets outside of the company to provide accurate information, offer impartial feedback, and inform strategic decision making.

In fact, according to a recent Intuit study, 65% of business owners surveyed said they would be “better positioned for long-term growth if they could take a step back and look at the bigger picture.” These business owners also reported that they were involved in areas of the company such as sales, marketing, customer service, human resources, and accounting, instead of outsourcing them. It is no coincidence that these activities were taking away from their ability to focus on their core business functions. When they were asked what they should be spending their time on instead, their top answers included developing business strategy, making an impact on customers directly, and innovating product/service offerings.

Business process outsourcing allows business owners and CEOs to utilize highly experienced professionals without needing to hire internally, both managing costs and improving business agility. Furthermore, outsourcing allows business leaders to reduce stress, lessening the likelihood of executive burnout.

Topics: Recruiting Trends Planning Cash Flow Leadership Growth Budgeting Strategy