For Finance professionals who want to make a bigger impact in business and build a career to be proud of:
A professional development program
designed for Finance professionals
your career progression
and get you ready
for senior Finance leadership
Want to know the five qualities you must develop to get you up the career ladder and ready for a CFO role?
Read on and I'll tell you...
From Andy Burrows BSc ACA BFP
One of the "top voices on LinkedIn in Finance and Accounting"*, and contributor to:
Enrolment closes in
From the desk of: Andy Burrows BSc ACA BFP, Finance professional coach and mentor
If you’re a qualified accountant (ACA, ACCA, CPA, CGMA, etc) working in a business Finance department under a CFO or a Finance Director...
... you may often wonder whether you’re at risk of underachieving in terms of your career goals. And if so, you’re not alone. Many mid-career Finance professionals, with varying degrees of ambition, have similar worries.
You may be worrying that you don’t know what additional skills you have to learn to get into one of the top roles in Finance (CFO or FD),
... it may be that you feel you can't get the right experience in the job you’re in, or in the jobs you can have a realistic chance of getting.
- Do you dream of progressing to a more influential role in the business, where people value your knowledge and insight, rather than just seeing you as the spy from Finance or the back-office report-cruncher?
- Do you really want to be a CFO one day, but you’re stumped when you try to plan how to get there?
- Do you feel a little lost when you do your annual Personal Development Plan, not knowing what you should be learning to take your career forward?
- Do you agonise over whether particular promotion and job opportunities will move you forward or hold you back in the long run?
Based on what I’ve heard, I can bet that at some point you may have wondered...
“what does it take to get to the top?”...
“how can I get what it takes to get to the top?”
And you’ve gone round in circles with questions like:
- What courses and professional development programs will help?
- What job roles and moves will give me the experience I need?
No-one could blame you if you’re confused! You’re in the same boat with the vast majority of early and mid-career Finance professionals.
(In reality, you’re already ahead of the majority of Finance professionals, because you’re actually searching for solutions. Most people don’t. Most people just accept where they are with a wistful sigh and a sense of reluctant acceptance. YOU don’t have to be like that!)
The consequence of all that confusion is most commonly lack of motivation. That ‘Sunday evening feeling’ when you realise that you don’t want to go back to work after the weekend.
Procrastination – you choose CPD courses almost at random, don’t read any books, and don’t get out there and look for your next job when you know you should
Job hopping – you choose jobs based on how much they pay. But you’re rarely satisfied, because you can’t see your career going where you want
Stagnating – you worry that you’ll reach a level in your career that you can’t get past, and you won’t know why, and you may be resigned to being stuck in the same job for the rest of your career
But The BIG Question remains: How can you make yourself CFO-ready?
So let me assure you...
It IS possible. You can do it.
Let’s think this through logically.
I talk about “CFO readiness” because – even if you don’t want an actual CFO role one day – every role in Finance is somewhere on the ladder up to a CFO role.
So it starts with the realisation that:
Great CFOs are business leaders,
NOT just very experienced accountants
Sure, great CFOs and Finance Directors must have solid foundations in Accounting, Treasury and FP&A (Financial Planning & Analysis).
But (with those foundations in place), it’s clear that what’s got you to this point in your career isn’t everything you need to get you to the top. There’s more:
There is a CFO Readiness Formula. And it’s made up of five things.
There are five qualities you need to develop that will ensure you grow to become a great business leader:
- Eagerness to learn and able (not just wanting) to change
- High performance
- Results with your team through great leadership
- A great reputation throughout business
- Strategic insight
You’ll notice that all those steps are about the way you think and the way you act, NOT about technical knowledge or technical skill. These are behaviours, habits and attributes.
Yes, you definitely need the technical foundations in accounting, FP&A and treasury. No question about that (sorry if you thought you might avoid boring accounts – you can’t!). But I’m talking about what you need to build on the foundations all the way to the CFO/FD’s office.
And those five qualities are the things that carry you from accountant to CFO.
Mastering those five qualities is the fastest way to get yourself into senior Finance leadership and well on your way to a CFO role
So, getting yourself CFO-ready is all about learning, practicing and refining the skills and attributes that help you demonstrate those five qualities.
So, how can you do that?
How do you learn them?
How do you practice them?
How do you demonstrate you have them so that you can move up the ladder?
Thinking through the answers to those questions is what led me to what I want to share with you today...
It’s what I’ve designed to put you on the personal transformation journey to being CFO-ready...
CFO Readiness Builder
CFO Readiness Builder isn’t just another course like the ones you may have bought from the CPD catalogues.
It’s a 6-month+ transformation journey, that will change you...
From the back-office accountant, humble analyst or report cruncher...
To the business leader you really want to be.
In short: We’ll get you CFO-ready!
- You'll learn the habits of high performance that enable you to deliver consistently week after week after week
- You'll discover how to build a reputation within your business that will get your name mentioned in high places (in a good way!)
- You'll learn how to think strategically and to see everything in terms of how it helps the business, which supercharges your impact and influence
- You'll discover practical steps you can follow to make you a great leader, even if you don’t already have a team
- You'll get templates, checklists, questionnaires and cheatsheets to make the learning quicker, and to help you practice effectively
- With the right commitment, it's possible that in just 6 months, you could be well on the way to being actually CFO-ready, and not just having more good stuff in your brain
What others are saying
CFO Readiness Builder is still a relatively new development opportunity. Hence, we don't yet have specific testimonials (I’m hoping you’ll be one of the first to write one in 12 months time!).
But here are some comments on my other training courses, coaching programs and other material.
Great motivator in day-to-day work
“The Drive! course is a great set of videos which really got me thinking about how the business does what it does, why it does it and how it can improve. It's also been a great motivator for me in my day to day work, remembering the purpose of what I'm doing in the moment, linking it to the strategy of the business and, at time, questioning whether it really needs to be done at all. The framework that's explained makes it easy to see the 'bigger picture' and break down the 'thinking' that needs to be done into chunks, whilst also a reminder of how and why it all fits together.”
– Marie Forde, My Finance Coach member
Kept Me on Track Towards My Goals
“My Finance Coach has provided me with organized and clear content, simplifying the complex world of Finance and Business Performance Management. The coaching calls have kept me on track towards my goals and have provided world-class techniques and feedback personalized to my journey. Andy and his team's vast knowledge and on-going support continues to impress me, always showing their true care for my personal and professional success!”
– Darin Leonard, My Finance Coach member
“Perfect: This is a very comprehensive overview of what Finance teams can do to drive business performance. Everything is well and easily explained and describes a framework with individual components and, perhaps more importantly, the inter-relation. Not only great if you want to think about what you can do to improve your value add, but also a great frame to explain to your business colleagues when they challenge you on the role of Finance.” (Anonymous student, Drive! Course)
“The content... offered a fresh perspective.”
“… interesting and useful…”
“Drive has been great value for me and I am thankful for your work.”
“Man, really cool stuff you're doing. Love the value add for F&A professionals. I haven't seen anyone else put out this kind of content - keep up the good work!”
“I am big fan of your work. I really enjoy reading your emails and your thoughts about finance profession.”
“I think your articles and advice are great and I will continue to look out for them and read them. Keep up the great work.”
“Hello Andy! Thanks a lot! Just wanted to write that you do a great job!”
“I’ve learned a lot reading from your articles and watching your videos.”
Check out my LinkedIn profile if you want to see loads of great recommendations based on my previous work!...
… my favourite is, “If Carlsberg made Finance Directors …”! (Perhaps you’re too young to remember the classic Carlsberg adverts?) And that was from a non-Finance project manager.
And, my blog articles, webinars and videos have been very popular over the last few years.
I’ve been named in lists of “Finance thought leaders you must follow on LinkedIn” * published by Anders Liu-Lindberg of the Business Partnering Institute. Anders said, “… you’d be missing out if you didn’t pay attention to what Andy is doing.”
I’m also a contributor for CFO.University, the Business Partnering Institute and Generation CFO, and have appeared on podcasts and webinars for CIMA-AICPA, IMA, FP&A Trends, CFO.University and The Strength in the Numbers Show.
So, what are you going to get when you enrol?
My guiding principle for CFO Readiness Builder is a phrase I keep repeating:
I don’t just want to fill your head. I want to change your life!
What that means practically is that I won’t be overloading you with teaching videos and reading.
My focus will be helping you change to become a CFO ready Finance professional. I’ll be providing you with the knowledge, and the exercises and shortcuts, that will help you actually make the changes and get the growth you need.
At the core will be six modules, consisting of pre-recorded on-demand video lessons and exercises. Each module is designed to cover a month, starting with learning and then consolidating with exercises and practical application.
And on top of email support, there’ll also be regular group coaching calls (recorded) and "office hours" (times when you can book a mini 1-2-1 session) in which I’ll be online to help you with any question that will help you to get CFO ready.
(And there’s more – see later!)
So, what are we going to be working on together?
6 Career and Business-Impact Building Modules
- Level Up Your Performance
- Build Your CFO Career Strategy
- The Secrets of Reputation and Influence
- Build Your Business Acumen
- Be a Leader... Even Before You Have a Team
- Develop Your Strategic Thinking
Levelling Up Your Performance:
How to Be Great at What You Do
The first thing that gets you up the ladder is great performance. Be great at what you do, and you’ll catch attention in a good way!
I think you’ll agree. If you think about the CFOs and Finance Directors you know, especially the ones you particularly respect. They weren’t merely average performers earlier in their career. They had to impress, otherwise they wouldn’t have got promotions.
So, in this module, we’ll teach you some habits of high performance. It’s a matter of self-belief, and disciplined self-leadership and self-management. These are things you can (and should) learn as a foundation for everything else.
- Learn how to be clear about the most important priorities every day
- Develop a personal mission
- Start new habits to rigorously focus to make constant progress in high priority goals
- ... AND MORE!
By the end of this module, you’ll have a much clearer idea of your mission, goals, objectives and priorities. And you’ll be habitually focusing on getting the most important things done, week after week after week!
After that, we’re ready for ...
We’ll start with being clear about your objectives, your current state, and then help you make a plan to bridge the gaps.
Your objectives involve being ‘CFO-ready’, but what does that mean? And how can you measure yourself?
So, in this module, we’ll get specific about what CFO-readiness means. And we’ll give you a framework and some tools to help you measure yourself. And then we’ll give you the tools to help you plan to address any gaps, and to help you to decide what additional learning you need, when to move roles and which job moves will help.
- Discover the skills, habits and behaviours you need to be a successful CFO/FD, and the things you need to get promoted through the levels to get there
- Use self-assessment and 360-degree feedback to highlight your development areas
- Use all that information to make a plan and make decisions about your career development
- ... AND MORE!
By the end of the module you’ll have a clear plan for getting the experience and developing the mindset, skills, habits and behaviours you need to be a CFO-ready. From then on it’s execution, learning and review!
Then we’ll knuckle down and talk about...
Build Your CFO Career Strategy:
How to Make a Great Career Plan
The Secrets of Reputation and Influence:
How to Be Known for the Right Things
Once you’re on the way up the ladder, your reputation within the business starts to matter. How people see you outside of Finance can either catapult you forward or hold you back.
If people in the wider business are talking about how helpful you are, and how you understand their needs, then that’s going to get back to the senior leaders who are influential in appointments and promotions.
So, in this module, we’ll look at how you can build that reputation quickly and easily... and enjoy doing it! It’s not about tacky manipulation. It’s not about having to put on a persona. It’s about being your authentic self in a way that builds trust and generates understanding.
INSIDE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- How to build trust
- How to work on your credibility
- How to be positive in relationships even when others are negative
- ... AND MORE!
By the end of the module, you’ll be able to see how you can take concrete steps to develop the reputation and influence you need.
And then it’s time for...
I often say that the purpose of the Finance function is to drive business performance. So, you need to understand how your business works and how it makes money.
How can you be the business leader that the CFO is meant to be if you don’t understand the business and know how to improve performance? This is what that mysterious thing called business acumen is all about!
So, in this module, we cover the steps you can take to improve your understanding of the business – including using what you already have access to in the accounts, knowing the right questions and who to ask, and how to piece it all together to demonstrate you’re more of a business partner than an accountant.
- Embark on projects to identify the performance drivers of the business
- Start to build strong relationships within the business while learning about the business
- Learn the right questions to ask to gain the business understanding you need
- ... AND MORE!
By the end of this module, you’ll be naturally learning and talking the language of business more than the language of debits and credits, P&Ls and balance sheets!
Then we’ll also need to look at...
Building Your Business Acumen:
How to Understand the Business Inside-Out
Being a Leader... Even Before You Have a Team:
How to Help Others for the Common Good
A CFO or Finance Director is a leadership position. The CFO may have a large team. But they’ll also be expected to lead the business into better performance.
Leadership skills are essential for senior roles. Without leadership skills, you’ll end up with an underperforming, misaligned Finance team, high rates of staff turnover, and low motivation. And all that adds up to you being overworked and stressed, feeling that everything is working against you.
So, in this module, we’ll unpack the basic foundations of great leadership – including how to start being a leader even when you don’t have a team, and how to empower people and give them vision and direction.
INSIDE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- How to be a good leader, even if you don’t feel like a natural
- How to delegate effectively
- How to make your Finance team’s performance more than the sum of the parts
- ... AND MORE!
By the time you’ve been through this module you’ll have people inspired by your vision, wanting to follow you, and motivated to go with you, as you clearly outline how Finance can move the business forward.
And finally, because strategy is key to business performance, we’ll look at...
What makes a CFO the CEO’s right-hand person? Strategic insight!
Once you understand how the business works, you start to understand how the industry works, how competitors work and what the future might look like for your industry. Strategic insight comes from being able to pull all those pieces together to clarify the risks and opportunities your business faces.
So, in this module, we’ll look at how to develop your ability to think strategically, looking forward rather than back; how to sift a variety of information sources to identify the key issues; and how to assess strategic opportunities.
INSIDE YOU’LL DISCOVER:
- What is strategy?
- Where to focus to improve your strategic thinking, without spending 8 hours a day reading newspapers!
- How to get strategic insight, without going to Harvard or getting an MBA
- ... AND MORE!
By the end of this module, you’ll be getting used to thinking ahead and identifying strategies that set your business apart from your competition.
And to make sure all this sticks...
Developing Your Strategic Thinking:
How to Be Fluent in the Language of Business Success
When you sign up, you're also going to be able to:
Email for help on anything
Join our regular group coaching calls.
Book mini 1-2-1 consultations in regular "office hours"
Interact in our exclusive online community exclusively for Supercharged Finance students
Personal support will be available to you for at least 12 months. Training material and worksheets will be available to you permanently (as long as Supercharged Finance continues to trade, guaranteed to be at least 12 months).
HOW MUCH IS IT?
So, time for the investment case...
You’ll be investing $599 per month for 6 months (or $2,997 if you pay up front in full).
And that might seem like a lot.
But CFO Readiness Builder is not just your everyday online course. It’s a transformation journey that combines training, individual work, regular support opportunities, over at least 6 months, with the aim of making you actually CFO-ready.
I’ve worked hard already, designing this program, aiming not just to teach, but to provide all the resources and support you’d need to actually put the learning into practice. As I’ve said before, “I don’t want to just fill your head. I want to change your life!” And I’m ready to continue that hard work with you throughout the program.
If you put it into practice, the things I’ll teach you in CFO Readiness Builder will improve your performance, increase your influence and impact, and will help you move up the ladder more quickly.
And what could that mean?
To you: Salary increases of much more than $599 a month!
To your employer: The benefit of your high performance, your business-focused mindset and your strategic thinking. Bottom line impact = a lot more than $599 a month!
On all levels, a great business case.
Not just a tick in the box on your annual CPD declaration! A real positive net present value.
So, for an investment of just 6 monthly payments of $599 you can join me for your own transformation journey towards CFO-readiness.
Enrolment will close on Monday 25 September, so that we can start working together soon after that.
So, book your space quickly!
Your chance to enrol in CFO Readiness Builder 2023 ends in
And if you’re worrying whether it will be worth it, or whether you’ll have time, hopefully this will allay your fears.
So, I want to take the risk out of it for you. I really want to help you in your career development. And I don’t want you to feel at any stage like you’re not getting the value you would expect.
AND – if you’re worrying whether you’ll have the time to invest in the program...
I get it, you don’t want to spend all that money and then not get the most out of it. And I don’t want you to be wasting your money either.
So – here’s something that should take away that risk:
Risk reversal 2: Access to all future CFO Readiness Builder programs
By buying this program now, you will not only have access to six core training modules, and 12 months of email and live support. You will also keep access to all of that for as long as we run the program in the future – being able to access any new training material and join all the group coaching and "office hours" calls – with access to all the improvements we make for future cohorts.
What that really means is that you should be able to start the program at any time, and take it at your own pace if you want to.
AND THAT'S NOT ALL!
The six main modules represent the areas that pretty much every Finance professional will benefit from developing. These will send you confidently on your way to CFO-readiness. But we’re also giving you 4 Great BONUSES to help you to address the things that may hold you back.
BONUS #1 - Training Webinar: Communicate to Impress
How to Speak and Write in a Way That Helps Rather Than Hinders You
($297 Value!) The way we communicate is one of the things that people use to judge our credibility, and indeed our ability to lead the business. So, communication skills are critically important.
It might seem like some people just have the ‘gift of the gab’. The truth is most of us struggle with communication. So, I’m going to put together some training, and some exercises you can do, that will enable you to nail down any aspects of your communication styles that may be holding you back.
BONUS #2 - Training Webinar: Building a Business-Focused Finance Team
($297 value!) As a Finance leader your job will involve giving direction, motivation and inspiration. Just think how your impact can multiply by building a team whose focus is to help the business, rather than just to complete Finance tasks.
So, let’s get together on a webinar and talk about ways you can help your Finance colleagues. This is one of the areas where business acumen and business-focus genuinely meets leadership, and you can show business leadership as a CFO should.
BONUS #3 - Online Course Bundle: Drive! and Driving Business Performance Further in Finance
Managing performance better should lead to better performance (otherwise why bother trying to manage it?)!
Knowing how to manage performance is one of the key skills that gives you business acumen as a Finance professional.
So, the Drive! course is designed to cover the business performance management framework I developed several years ago, and how to use it in Finance to help your business to manage performance better... and therefore to perform better.
It’s an online course we sell normally for $497 on the website. And I’m also adding in a mini-course called Driving Business Performance Further in Finance, which covers Performance Measurement, Reporting and Analysis, Keeping Business Change on Track and Rethinking Finance Transformation.
AND – Saving THE BEST until last – NEW BONUS for September 2023 – From our friends at CFO.University – FREE access to ALL courses and classes available on CFO.University
($900 value!) A lot of aspiring CFOs talk about their fears about being caught out by practical things they don’t know. And whilst I believe that the things that make a difference are the behavioural skills and the business insight, I know that fear can really hamper you.
So, we’ve arranged with our friends at CFO.University that everyone who enrols in CFO Readiness Builder this time around will get free access to all the classes and courses on the CFO.University website under their four pillars of Accounting, Finance, Treasury and Leadership. These give you practical know-how in all the areas a CFO is expected to be proficient in.
All the support you need
With 12 months of direct access email support and Lifetime access to our exclusive Facebook group – The Supercharged Finance Student Community (priceless!) - the aim is to make sure that help is always at hand, either from us or from your peers.
So, GET ENROLLED NOW,
before time runs out.
Time for a Recap
When you join CFO Readiness Builder as a Founder member, you will start a journey through SIX monthly training modules – pre-recorded on-demand video lessons, exercises and worksheets, supported by email support and regular group coaching and "office hours" calls – that will transform you from the back-office accountant to the business leader you always wanted to be (value: $5,820) – so that you can feel the satisfaction of knowing you really make an impact in your business as a Finance leader.
- PLUS you get my Communicate to Impress webinar workshop (value $297)
- And my Building a Business-Focused Finance Team training webinar (value $297)
- And the amazing partner bonus – free access to all the courses available on CFO.Univeristy, for practical training in all the responsibilities of a CFO – Accounting, Finance, Treasury and Leadership (value $900)
- And, to help you really impact your business, I’ll also give you access to two of my online courses – Drive! and Driving Business Performance Further in Finance (value $594)
And don't forget, you also get lifetime access to peer support in the Supercharged Finance Student Community AND access to all future CFO Readiness Builder Programs!
If you add all of it up, it’s worth well over $9,000
But really, it’s the value equation that means more.
How much does it mean to you to have that satisfaction, that impact as a Finance leader, that place of influence – and, of course, a rewarding career in senior leadership?
So, what do you think?
I know this is not like any other training brochure you’ve ever seen for Finance professional development. You may even call it ‘salesy’!...
... I prefer to call it inspiring.
Because I know that we accountants and Finance professionals can be a little reserved sometimes. We may have secret ambitions to progress and become leaders in the Finance function and in the businesses we work for. We want successful careers where we...
... rise as high as we can,
... make our families proud,
... become influential in our businesses.
But we don’t like to admit it, perhaps because we’re not sure we really can do it.
And I’m here to say that YOU CAN DO IT!
I got my first Finance Director job at the age of 29. And I wasn’t even aiming at it at the time! If I can do it, so can you!
And from my experience, there are things you can learn that will make you ready for the next promotion whilst enabling you to make a bigger difference where you work. And if you put that learning into practice, week after week, year after year, if you want to, you can be CFO-ready.
So, you have a decision. And there’s a deadline for that decision:
You can either
do nothing, and continue to browse the CPD catalogues for courses that can give you point solutions or interesting knowledge. Your head will fill up more, and you may learn how to build new reports or do different analysis. But essentially nothing will change. You’ll still be wondering how to get ready for a CFO role when the opportunity comes along.
if you know deep down you want to get yourself CFO-ready and make a bigger impact in the business you work in, then...
join me in CFO Readiness Builder and start your transformation journey towards becoming the business influencer and leader you want to be.
Simply click one of the enrolment buttons on this page and join others who are eager to get themselves CFO ready, and I’ll be waiting to take you through the steps you need to take.
But if you’re still uncertain, still wondering whether to get involved or leave it, you may be thinking...
I just can’t see myself as a CFO or Finance Director
It’s very difficult to see things as any different to the way they are now. We can’t picture ourselves being any different or changing our habits. And that’s the crux of the matter. In order to progress we have to be different, act differently, work differently. And that’s why one of the things I’ll teach you first is building your ability to change.
Look at my own experience – at age 22 could I see myself being a Finance Director seven years later, with a team of 50 people, and getting to jet off around Europe helping to build a business? No! At age 22 I was an audit junior who was nervous talking to client staff in case I looked stupid! But I was determined to make whatever changes I needed to succeed (without compromising my values of course!)
OR, you might be thinking, “it’s just not the right time for me to be doing this.”
First, let me say that if you’re going to avoid procrastinating and putting off your CFO-readiness into the never-never, then you must be clear why you don’t think it’s the right time. What circumstances have to fall into place to make it the right time? What things would you have to get done? If CFO-readiness is important to you, make a plan to do those things and intentionally bring circumstances into line so that you you’re ready to work on your CFO-readiness!
And if you really think it’s not the right time, just leave us your name and email address in the ‘expression of interest’ form and we’ll let you know when we’re next enrolling. (By the way, we only enrol people in this program every 6-12 months, so you may wait a while.)
Or, you might think, “I don’t have an ambition to be a CFO, so this probably isn’t relevant.”
And yet here you are listening to me talk about what it takes to be a CFO! Why is that?
I’ll let you into a secret. I never thought about having an ambition to be a CFO until I actually got a job as a Finance Director! Your ambition doesn’t have to be that clear and specific...
And in reality, it’s not necessarily about wanting to get an actual CFO role one day. The thing is, if you want to progress in any significant way in your Finance career, the development you need will involve the same things. Business acumen and leadership. Because every role in a business Finance function is somewhere on the journey between accountant and CFO.
Being CFO-ready doesn’t mean you have to go on and be an actual CFO, unless it turns out that’s what you want.
Don’t miss the chance to start your personal transformation journey
The registration period for CFO Readiness Builder closes on 25 September.
And then it’ll probably be 6-12 months before you have chance to join the next group.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get yourself CFO-ready and increase your impact and influence in the business you work for.
You CAN do it. With the right mindset, skills, habits and behaviours – with the right training and support – you can make a positive difference in the business you work for, and set yourself more confidently on a path to a senior role. And I’m going to be dedicated to that for the duration of the program.
So, don’t waste any more time dreaming about the future.
JOIN US NOW and get your Finance career firing on all cylinders.JOIN NOW
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have a pressing question you need answering before enrolling in CFO Readiness Builder?
Below is a list of the most common questions I can think of. If for some reason your question isn’t covered in that list, don’t stew on it! I’m on hand to help you and I love to hear from people. Just send me an email at [email protected] with your question, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.