5 Business Tips for Chief Financial Officers

shutterstock_215289142The CFO plays a crucial role in the success of a business. This job is more than projecting numbers and generating P&L reports; it’s about planning for the security of the company and ensuring risks are taken in a calculated, researched way. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to practice the duties of a CFO, but there are certainly some tips that can help improve success in the field.

Don’t Plan on Handouts. Many CFOs choose to rely on investors to bolster the business into profitability, but nothing could be further from reality. No one will give you money and no one will invest in your company unless you have already demonstrated your worth as a profitable business. Scale down extravagant spending and simplify the company’s existing plans for the future. Streamlining doesn’t mean eliminating your goals – it only means there are simpler means to achieve the same end. Even profitable companies need to practice frugality.

Play a Questioning Role. CFOs are charged with the task of looking at business from an analytical perspective. Numbers are key! Instead of determining company processes, you must constantly question why and how. CFOs need concrete data to make informed decisions about investments and financial decisions. Never stop asking questions about buying patterns or the risks involved with a new investment as this could be the difference between making quarterly budgets and answering to the board of advisors.

Identify Operational Inefficiency. Take note of departments that underperform on a regular basis. Frequently, cost-saving measures can be implemented to save these departments a great deal of stress and improve productivity. Human Resources, for instance, often struggles with payroll tax management. Investing in an outsourced employee payroll management service like Padgett Payroll Services® saves employees a great deal of time and hassle by assigning a payroll processor and administrator to attend to your needs. When someone else takes over these roles, your business can go back to focusing on the customers.

Audit Your Business. Audits play a crucial role in the ongoing success of any company. Budgeting and balancing the books may have come easily when the business was small, but employee payroll, benefits, telecom charges, and various other miscellaneous costs build up over time. Many CFOs choose to hire outside auditing companies to evaluate areas of strength and weakness. These recommendations are never forced on companies, but can certainly be taken into account if cutting costs is deemed an appropriate choice in the future.

Stay Healthy. Get plenty of sleep, exercise when possible, and eat nutritious food. Take care of yourself the way you take care of your business. No one enjoys being unhealthy and the company certainly can’t afford it, either. This is why many modern businesses offer amenities like locker rooms, gyms and enhanced health care plans: they know healthy employees mean a healthy company.

CFOs carry the weight of their company’s finances on their shoulders. Big data dictates daily decisions in this leadership-heavy role and demands a heavy amount of research before any decisions are made. It is important to maintain a balanced perspective of company finances to ensure profitable books in the future. Business services can help streamline operations and audits are beneficial to get a look into the future of your company’s finances. With these tips, you can improve your own performance as well as that of your business.