Transitioning into a new CFO role can be one of the most stressful, yet rewarding, career milestones you can do. During the first 100 days of a new CFO role, it's crucial to establish a strong foundation, build relationships, and set the tone for your tenure.
In this blog, we highlight an essential checklist of 15 things a new CFO should focus on in their first 100 days to set themselves and the business up for success.
1.Start with the Basics
As an initial step, it is critically important for new CFOs to assess the company’s financial health in three areas:
Cash Flow. Ensure that there are no liquidity issues that the company needs to urgently resolve.
Accounting Practices. Work with the lead partner at the company’s auditing firm to confirm that there are no regulatory issues or accounting practices that require immediate attention.
Audit Issues. Collaborate with the company’s audit committee to review practices related to auditing, internal controls, and cybersecurity in order to identify pressing issues.
2. Understand the Organisation:
Familiarise yourself with the company's mission, vision, values, and strategic goals.
Gain a deep understanding of the industry, market trends, and competitors.
3. Build Relationships:
Meet with key stakeholders, including the CEO, other C-suite executives, board members, and team members.
Establish open lines of communication and build rapport with your finance team.
4. Develop a Financial Strategy:
Collaborate with the executive team to align the financial strategy with the overall business strategy.
Identify opportunities for growth, cost optimisation, and operational efficiency.
5. Team Assessment:
A critical element in assessing the finance function is to obtain a holistic view of its talent, capabilities, and skills.
Evaluate the skills and strengths of your finance team members.
Identify any skill gaps and determine whether restructuring or hiring is necessary.
6. Prioritise Initiatives:
Based on your assessment, prioritise key initiatives and projects.
Consider short-term and long-term objectives that will impact the company's financial performance.
7. Risk Assessment:
Identify and assess financial risks the company may be exposed to.
Develop risk mitigation strategies to protect the company's financial assets.
8. Communication and Transparency:
Ensure clear and transparent communication with internal and external stakeholders regarding financial matters.
Address any concerns or questions promptly and professionally.
9. Technology and Processes:
Evaluate existing financial systems and processes for efficiency and accuracy.
Consider improvements in automation, data analytics, and reporting.
10. Regulatory Compliance:
Ensure the company is compliant with relevant financial regulations and standards.
Review internal controls and procedures to prevent fraud and errors.
11. Cost Management:
Evaluate costs and identify areas for potential cost reduction without compromising business operations.
Implement strategies to manage expenses effectively.
12. Strategic Partnerships:
Build relationships with external partners, such as banks, investors, and auditors.
Strengthen the company's financial credibility and reputation.
13. Long-term Planning:
Begin developing a long-term financial plan that aligns with the company's strategic goals.
Consider capital allocation, investment strategies, and funding options.
14. Performance Metrics:
Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) for the finance department and broader financial performance of the company.
Regularly track and report progress against these metrics.
15. Personal Development:
Continuously improve your own skills and knowledge in finance, leadership, and industry trends.
Seek mentorship or guidance from experienced CFOs if available.
Remember that the first 100 days are just the beginning of your journey as a CFO. While it's important to make an impact early on, also be prepared for a longer-term commitment to leading the finance function and contributing to the company's growth and success.
Are you looking to take the next step in your career and seek a CEO role?
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