Tag Archives | cfo

Don’t Be A CFnO!

I once had a client who called his CFO a CFnO. He had had five CFOs in a seven-year period. He felt frustrated as they were always telling him why he couldn’t achieve the sales growth he wanted rather than helping him get there. As a result, he saw them more as an obstacle and less as a team player.

To their credit, some of their comments were probably accurate with respect to aggressive growth; however, their approach made them ineffective as leaders.

Don’t Be A CFnO: Guide to Your Entrepreneur

When working with entrepreneurs, tell them, “We can do anything you want, but we can’t do everything at this time.” Ask them what they want to do first. And remember, you should be leading them to succeed, not serving as a roadblock to their success.

To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs. Find out how you can become a more valuable financial leader.

CFnO

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CFnO

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Bank of America Merrill Lynch releases 13th annual CFO Outlook Survey

Last week Bank of America Merrill Lynch released the full results from its 13th annual CFO Outlook Survey. Below please find highlights regarding the key findings, along with a link to the full report, a press release on the findings and link to a webcast on the survey which includes a roundtable discussion with David Darnell, president of Global Commercial Banking, Bank of America and three CFOs.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Releases 13th Annual CFO Outlook Survey

Jobs

Almost half of companies (47%) are planning to hire additional employees in 2011, up from 28% last year, according to the CFO Outlook survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Among respondents, 44% have plans to hire permanent employees, while 13% plan to add contract employees. (Some expect to hire both types).

Economic Outlook

CFOs of U.S. companies continue to have a critical view of the U.S. economy, giving the economy an average score of 47 on a scale ranging from 0 (extremely weak) to 100 (extremely strong). This is up slightly from last year’s score of 44, which was the lowest in the 13-year history of the CFO Outlook. When asked what will have the biggest impact on the economy in 2011, CFOs ranked the following: Healthcare Reform (54%), Budget Deficit (52%) and the Housing Market (42%).

Amid this cautious view of the current economic climate, 56% of all CFOs are forecasting expansion for the U.S. economy in 2011. That’s down from 66% who last year predicted growth in 2010.

Conclusion

The CFO Outlook webcast featuring a review of the surveys key findings with the following:

  • Laura Whitley, Global Commercial Products executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  • Joe Quinlin, Chief Market Strategist, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management
  • David Darnell and three CFOs (Al Blazek, Dunham’s Sports; Rod Goodwill, Hirschfeld Industries; Jerry Schneider, Vistage International)

Download the free External Analysis whitepaper that guides you through overcoming obstacles and preparing how your company is going to react to external factors.

CFO Outlook Survey

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Access your Projections Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get ahead of your cash flow.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

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CFO Outlook Survey

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Blog CFO Named Top Social Media Resource for CFOs

Blog CFO has recently been identified as a top social media resource for CFOs in American Express’ Inside Edge:

“Blog CFO – This active blog…targets small and mid-sized company finance executives and is best known for its weekly news roundup. The blog’s list of related links is especially noteworthy.”

We thank you, the readership, for making this possible.

Resource for CFOs

To learn more financial leadership skills, download the free 7 Habits of Highly Effective CFOs. Find out how you can become a more valuable financial leader.

resource for CFOs

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Access your Flash Report Execution Plan in SCFO Lab.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

resource for CFOs

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Banks Tighten Credit Standards

An article in todays’ Wall Street Journal highlights how banks tighten credit standards across the country’s banking community. The author cites interviews with bankers indicating a change in the amount of risk that lenders are willing to take. Later in the article the author cites sources that say they haven’t seen a credit crunch. So which is it?

Banks Tighten Credit Standards

The short answer is that it depends on your local market. How is the local economy performing and how competitive is your banking community? Regardless of the current lending environment you can count on banks‘ underwriting to become more conservative. Why? Because the federal banking regulators will begin to tighten the rules for the entire banking community not just local markets.

Prepare for This Changing Environment

As a CFO or controller how can you prepare for this changing environment? The best way is to get your financial house in order. Improve your cash management reporting. Prepare a cash flow projection to give to your banker. Prepare a strategic plan to manage and predict your capital needs months in advance. Finally, take your banker to lunch. Let him know what is happening in your business so there will be no surprises.

By improving your cash management tools, forecasting your needs and communicating with your banker you can actually weather the coming credit crunch.

Download your free External Analysis whitepaper that guides you through overcoming obstacles and preparing how your company is going to react to external factors.

Banks Tighten Credit Standards

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Projections Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get ahead of your cash flow.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Banks Tighten Credit Standards

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Defend the Bottom Line!

During a downturn in the economy the overriding goal of the Chief Financial Officer and management team is to defend the bottom line or profitability of the company. At a minimum you should achieve break even. The economy ebbs and flows like the tide. During the good times a company should generate profits and pay down debt. During a slow economy they should do everything they can not to give up the profits they have earned.

How to Defend the Bottom Line

So once you find yourself in an economic downturn what should you do? You should first recognize that you can’t save your way to profitability. Cutting costs though a useful tool will not get you to your goal.

The first step you should take is to get a good handle on cash and cash flow. You should prepare a daily cash report and a twelve month cash flow projection. You cannot run out of cash! Most managers fail to shift their focus to cash management until they have run out of it. By then it may be too late.

The next step may seem counter intuitive but is key to prospering in a downturn. You should increase your marketing expenditures and efforts. Most companies do the opposite! They slash advertising expenses and lay off salesmen to cut costs. If anything you should be doubling up on your sales effort! In a downturn there are still sales transactions taking place. There are just fewer of them. To maintain your revenue stream you need to get a larger percentage of the market. That takes more effort, not less!

Finally, to survive a downturn remember rule number one: Don’t lose money! So restructure your costs to achieve break even with the revenue stream you are generating. The goal is to survive to fight another day! Improve your pricing – and your profits– by downloading the free Pricing for Profit Inspection Guide.

bottom line

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Access your Strategic Pricing Model Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to set your prices to maximize profits.

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Computers Change CFO’s Role

When I started out in public accounting in the late 70’s I remember working with green bar paper, IBM 36 computers and having to foot computer reports because you couldn’t trust them to add correctly. As a new hire, you had to prove your proficiency with a 10-key adding machine before you were sent into the field. Now most people don’t know what a 10-key adding machine is!

Accounting Programs Then

Accounting programs were cumbersome at best. For example, they often require manual oversight to make sure they stayed in balance. Furthermore, accounting departments were made up of numerous clerks and accountants entering and reconciling data.

Computers Change CFO’s Role

A lot has changed in 25 years. Today if you print a report out of a computer you expect it to foot! Data entry has been simplified. In addition, you can often capture data outside the accounting department. Accounting software makes it difficult for the subsidiary ledger to be out of balance with the general ledger. (It may not be correct, but, at least it will agree!)

Computer Revolution

So what happened? Welcome to the computer revolution. Because of the increased power of computers and sophistication of accounting software you no longer need the same number of people to maintain accounting systems today. Furthermore, the role of CFOs and controllers of smaller has changed.

In the past a CFO/Controller had to manage a larger staff and be more of a technician to manage the process. Now with automation and outsourcing those functions no longer take up as much of their time.

As the amount of time devoted to accounting tasks decreased the time allotted to other administrative areas has increased. CFO/Controllers today are often responsible for human resources, information technologies, insurance and facilities management. In fact, better describe the CFO/Controller role as the chief administrative officer.

WikiCFO

Today there is a new resource!

WikiCFO was created to be a repository of best practice ideas in the various areas affecting the job of a chief financial officer or controller of middle market companies. CFO/Controllers can go there to find and share tips and tricks in cash flow, profit improvement, health benefits, information technology, banking, payroll, etc. WikiCFO enables CFO/Controllers to drive more value to the bottom line!

Technology and the evolution of computers is just one example of how external forces are changing how we operate. Download the External Analysis to gear up your business for change.

Computers Change CFO's Role

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Strategic Pricing Model Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to set your prices to maximize profits.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

Computers Change CFO's Role

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What an Entrepreneur Wants From a CFO/Controller!

Most accountants are trained to identify problems. In fact, as a professional, they excel at identifying problems and minimizing risks. Two excellent examples of this skill is the audit and tax compliance areas of public accounting.

What an Entrepreneur Wants From a CFO/Controller

Entrepreneurs are looking for something more from their CFO/Controllers. They take risks and solve problems everyday. As a result, they often get tired carrying all of the company’s problems on their shoulders. Thus, they want team members to help them navigate the challenges of the day!

So, the next time you identify a problem in the company, develop a solution at the same time! Over time, the entrepreneur will rely on you more and more to shoulder the responsibility of managing the company.

Since we don’t have all of the answers, use outside resources for problem solving. WikiCFO is an excellent repository for CFO/Controllers of entrepreneurial companies. Use this tool to bring the solution not just the problem!

More than anything, what an entrepreneur wants from a CFO/Controller is for them to be their trusted advisor or wingman. Download our free How to be a Wingman guide by clicking the link below. Take your career to the next level and step up into the trusted advisor role.

What an Entrepreneur Wants From a CFO

Strategic CFO Lab Member Extra

Access your Projections Execution Plan in SCFO Lab. The step-by-step plan to get ahead of your cash flow.

Click here to access your Execution Plan. Not a Lab Member?

Click here to learn more about SCFO Labs

What an Entrepreneur Wants From a CFO/controller

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LEARN THE ART OF THE CFO