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Habits of the successful CFO

The CFO role has never been so powerful – or so challenging. Christian Doherty looks at what today’s CFOs are bringing to the job and what attributes the next generation needs to succeed.

For the past decade, EY has run its ‘DNA of the CFO’ programme – an annual celebration of the chief financial officer (CFO). The programme is complete with global surveys of attitudes toward the role, research into the looming challenges and insights into what the most successful CFOs bring to the job.

It’s fair to say that little changes year on year. In 2016, the survey laid out what EY identified as the four key trends disrupting finance leadership: digital, data, risk and uncertainty, and finally stakeholder scrutiny and regulation. It all adds up to the same thing.

Today’s CFO has to cope with it all – external disruption in the marketplace, increasingly engaged (and occasionally activist) shareholders, internal challenges of cost reduction, IT developments, the need to attract the best and the brightest from a small and competitive talent pool. And that’s not to mention keeping the CEO’s latest moonshot idea a grounded, affordable reality.

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 269, November 2018.  

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