Why CFOs must avoid being overwhelmed by details  

8 August 2014:

It’s easy for a CFO to get drawn into work that was never intended to be the domain of the finance function or a top company executive.

It’s easy for a CFO to get drawn into work that was never intended to be the domain of the finance function or a top company executive.

Take, for example, human resources, which many CFOs oversee. The CFO may be involved in high-level discussions, planning, and oversight for the economics of salaries at the organisation.

Over time, however, the CFO can get pulled into more meetings – and even employee evaluations – because people want the head of finance to understand why raises are being given. But the CFO doesn’t have time to sit in on every evaluation or figure out how much each raise should be.

“You start getting drawn into [meetings], and before you know it, people think it’s something you should be doing,” said Bernie Leone, CPA/CITP, CGMA, an accounting and consulting partner in New York and Morristown, N.J., for accounting firm WithumSmith+Brown. “And you’ve picked up a bad habit.”

Without a doubt, CFOs have seen their duties grow in recent years. A substantial majority (85%) of US CPAs said the role of the CFO and the finance function has expanded moderately or significantly in their organisation, according to a recent American Institute of CPAs survey.

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Source: CGMA Magazine

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