The role of the chief financial officer (CFO) varies significantly from one organisation to another, however, it has evolved into one of the key executive roles in any organisation. The CFO can be responsible for financial administration, risk management, compliance, the development of a financial and operational strategy, and the ongoing development and monitoring of control systems designed to preserve organisational assets and report accurate financial results.

With respect to governance, the CFO provides the board with a second view on how the organisation is doing, in addition to the CEO. Therefore, building a constructive relationship with the chair is essential good corporate governance.

The CFO’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities of the organisation.
  • Reporting to the board on a monthly basis or otherwise as required.
  • Preparing proposals for major capital expenditure to ensure their alignment with corporate strategy and economic justification.
  • Implementing the decisions of the board as delegated by the board or CEO.
  • Managing the preparation for audits, cash flow forecasting, budgets and reporting
  • Developing, implementing, monitoring and enforcing a system to ensure statutory, legal and regulatory compliance and compliance with organisational policies and standards.
  • Providing recommendations to strategically enhance financial performance and business opportunities.

Among the challenges CFOs face are:

  • Making sure directors have all the necessary financial information to do their job.
  • Being able to spend more time on strategy, while maintaining their focus on cash flows, controls, costs and risk.
  • Having policies and procedures in place to manage risk and compliance.
  • Building an effective risk culture organisation wide to ensure risk-related decision making and appropriate risk management behaviours.
  • Ensuring the culture, code of conduct, human resource policies and performance reward systems support the organisation’s objectives and risk management and internal control systems.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective and positive relationships with the CEO and board members.

Whatever challenges you may be facing as a CFO, Effective Governance is here to help and provide solutions to any of your governance, risk or compliance needs. Feel free to contact us if you require more information or to find out more about how we can help your organisation.