Why You Need (To Be) A Purpose-Driven CFO

By Andy Burrows

Generalisations About Finance

As I reflect on my 25+ years of working in the Finance departments of a variety of businesses, the common feeling I get is that of busyness.

Finance is a very busy function to work in. There are always deadlines. Monthly reporting. Quarterly forecasting. Annual budgeting and medium term planning. If there’s a big project, Finance is in the thick of it, called in at short notice to “pull the numbers together”. We are always firefighting. Transactions gone astray. New products to code that no-one told us about. New suppliers that need to be paid before we knew they even existed. The pace is frenetic.

And in the midst of that busyness, we forget why we do what we do.

And while investors, owners and shareholders rely on the CFO to lead the business with the CEO, by and large we’re not actually very good leaders.

We think we’re strategic thinkers, but we’re not.

I don’t say that lightly. But the...

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Thinking Strategically About Finance Transformation

By Andy Burrows

Finance Transformation should be thought of as a strategy. I get the impression that we don’t think of Finance Transformation like that. We tend to think that the business has a strategy, and functions like Finance just do “transformation” programmes.

I’ve argued in the past that, generally speaking, the CFO’s strategic blind spot is the Finance function itself. In another article, I suggested that CFOs are spending too much time business partnering, so that they don’t give enough strategic thought to the Finance function.

So, this article is all about how we can be strategic about Finance Transformation. In fact, as I said at the beginning, it’s more than that. We ought to think of Finance Transformation as the vehicle for Finance function strategy.

Thinking about strategy makes a difference

My definition of strategy is that, “strategy is a plan of action to achieve an aspiration or overcome a problem.” And...

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