Executive Briefings

CFOs - From Bean Counters to Change Agents

The corporate failures that led to the 2008 global market collapse and subsequent recession had an unexpected outcome. They raised the profile and mandate of the CFO, who was taken out of the silo of finance and tasked with implementing enterprise-wide initiatives to create transparency, boost financial results and find areas to cut costs and make improvements.

“If you think about what CFOs are good at - what’s in their DNA - they are disciplined, detailed, they have integrity - these are the traits needed to implement any large-scale program that involves change,” says Don Rupprecht, finance effectiveness leader, PwC Canada. “The financial crisis showed that those traits could be used outside of finance.”

“It began with the trend of increased regulation and the introduction of Sarbanes Oxley. A lot of CEOs realized they didn’t have the expertise to deal with that and turned to their CFOs,” says Tracey Riley, national managing partner for PwC Canada’s assurance practice. “At the same time, they were also dealing with a proliferation of data and the need to gain insights about that data. The CFO has been in the middle of all that, and increasingly CEOs expect their finance group to take ownership of it. As we get more into business expansion on a global basis and managing the risk that comes with it, the opportunity for the CFO to play an increased role grows.”

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“If you think about what CFOs are good at - what’s in their DNA - they are disciplined, detailed, they have integrity - these are the traits needed to implement any large-scale program that involves change,” says Don Rupprecht, finance effectiveness leader, PwC Canada. “The financial crisis showed that those traits could be used outside of finance.”

“It began with the trend of increased regulation and the introduction of Sarbanes Oxley. A lot of CEOs realized they didn’t have the expertise to deal with that and turned to their CFOs,” says Tracey Riley, national managing partner for PwC Canada’s assurance practice. “At the same time, they were also dealing with a proliferation of data and the need to gain insights about that data. The CFO has been in the middle of all that, and increasingly CEOs expect their finance group to take ownership of it. As we get more into business expansion on a global basis and managing the risk that comes with it, the opportunity for the CFO to play an increased role grows.”

Read Full Article