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Financial leaders nowadays are expected to provide business insights that inform decision making at board level. The high level of detail and rigour needed to make such decisions could cause financial leaders to overly focus on their short-term goals and overlook certain areas.
of new CFOs believe that improving business partnering between finance and the business is a major priority.
(Source: EY: DNA of the CFO: Is the future of finance new technology or new people?)
Financial leaders need to be selective about what functional activities truly add value and what not, and who they can delegate the latter to. It was reported that financial leaders who made a difference invested more time on commercial insight, and less time on transactional work.
This type of workload, including standard analytics and reporting, could be entrusted to an external party that is able to handle great volume with high efficiency. When a business has high days sales outstanding, an external specialist could usually manage the collection process from end to end whist requiring fewer resources from the financial leaders.
Top warning signs of poor financial leaders
Many aspire to achieve the latter in their careers, and may unknowingly, start to slack off on the former and fall short.
When asked about the telltale signs of poor finance directors, the majority of surveyed financial professionals revealed the following factors:
- Poor financial reports (nearly 70%)
- Lack of attention to detail (more than 50%)
- Late reporting (50%)