Executive Briefings

A Good CFO Doesn't Just Talk Operations - They Are Involved in That Side of the Business

Ask mostly any CFO, and he or she will tell you that they are very involved in operations. But often such involvement is like having a second, lower-paying job: you can't afford to divert too much focus away from your top breadwinner.

Then there's Jeff Richard, finance chief at Safety-Kleen, a $1.3bn environmental-services company and oil refiner. Operations are the core of his job. "Do I close books? No. Am I a tax guy? Definitely not. Where I bring value is on the operations side," he says.

In fact, operations, he says, are what drive value, and certainly not finance and accounting activities. "You can't be a good CFO or a strategic business partner to your CEO until you thoroughly understand operations and how they drive performance," Richard said. CFOs should "get out of the office and into the field." For example, ride along on a delivery truck to observe efficiencies or lack of them.

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Keywords: supply chain management, role of CFO, role of operations in the enterprise, operations vs. finance

Then there's Jeff Richard, finance chief at Safety-Kleen, a $1.3bn environmental-services company and oil refiner. Operations are the core of his job. "Do I close books? No. Am I a tax guy? Definitely not. Where I bring value is on the operations side," he says.

In fact, operations, he says, are what drive value, and certainly not finance and accounting activities. "You can't be a good CFO or a strategic business partner to your CEO until you thoroughly understand operations and how they drive performance," Richard said. CFOs should "get out of the office and into the field." For example, ride along on a delivery truck to observe efficiencies or lack of them.

Read Full Article


Keywords: supply chain management, role of CFO, role of operations in the enterprise, operations vs. finance