CFOs Are the Right-Hand of CEO/Leadership, and Driven by Great Expectations

AAFCPAs' 2017 CFO Report: Behind Every Thriving Organization is a High-Functioning CFO
The role of the CFO continues to become increasingly complex and strategic, and as the role evolves, so do the expectations of the CEO.
AAFCPAs’ CFO Survey, conducted in collaboration with FEI-Boston, captured feedback from more than 250 senior financial executives from the Northeast region of the United States. 60% of respondents reported moderate to high levels of difficulty in meeting the expectations of executive leadership.
CEOs continue to expect CFOs to play a leading part in developing corporate strategy, and the role has moved far beyond financial reporting, audit & compliance, managing treasury/reserves, and capital structure. Many of today’s sophisticated senior financial executives are also charged with understanding sales, operations, and overall business functions, as well as addressing challenges related to: optimizing shareholder value; mergers & acquisitions; data security; leveraging technology & managing the IT spend; operational effectiveness; business process improvements; talent management; and staying ahead of industry benchmarks.
The breadth of responsibilities makes CFOs accountable to diverse stakeholders beyond executive leadership, including: investors/shareholders, consumers, bankers/funders, and regulators.
“The survey results confirm what we witness daily working closely with CFOs in the northeast,” said Dave McManus, AAFCPAs Co-Managing Partner. “The evolution of the CFO’s role closely mimics the changes in business. The formula for a successful organization is more fragile today, and impacted by nuances of industry, people (talent), leadership, technology, and agility.”
In order to face today’s opportunities and challenges, and effectively meet expectations, CFOs must continue to be masters of managing multiple priorities, collaborative, adaptive to new technology, and have a high-functioning finance function supporting them.
AAFCPAs’ CFO Survey asked senior financial executives to provide their thoughts, opinions, and experiences in an effort to glean insight into how the role may be evolving, and why. The 250 survey respondents included: Chief Financial Officers, Chief Accounting Officers, Controllers, Treasurers, Vice Presidents of Finance, Vice Presidents of Planning and Analysis, Vice Presidents of Tax, Vice Presidents of Pension Fund Investments, Vice Presidents of Risk Management, Directors of Finance, Taxes, Treasury, Accounting, and Audit Committee members.
To download the full report, visit