The Good reasons to recruit a female CFO

A study by the recruiting firm Korn Ferry showed that companies that appointed a woman to the top finance role saw a 6% increase in profitability – and 8% higher stock returns – during their first 24 months in office. 

Over the 17-year period for the study, firms with female CFOs generated $1.8 trillion more in gross profit than their sector average .

However, there are still few women CFOs and we are still far from parity for these positions, even though this function is crucial and constitutes a formidable springboard to aim higher.

We will analyze in this article how and why, in my view, we should approach the proportion of men and women in the CFO function.

For women and businesses to move closer to parity, three elements are necessary and should be combined:

  • Talented & ambitious women
  • Men aware of the subject
  • Quotas

Talented and ambitious women already exist. Look at Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central bank who was the first woman to become finance minister of a G8 economy and is the first woman to head both the ECB and the IMF. And if we look towards the private sphere, very often, who controls the family purse? The women! This is already a first good reason to hire a female CFO.

 One of the things to do is to (TRULY) educate men about the subject. General Managers must take this need for parity into account. Men who are “aware” of the subject are needed. I have noticed that fathers with daughters in working age often start then realizing the importance of gender equality, and become great advocates.

Regarding the quotas, in a labor market context characterized by a “war for talents”, it is logical not to deprive yourself of half the population, knowing that higher education in finance has delivered for decades an equal number of graduates. So, why is this still a topic? Quite simply because financial departments are not immune to imperfect feminization at all levels. Finally, quotas are essential, “otherwise in 160 years we will still be at the same point“, as Christine LAGARDE predicted a few years ago. This notion of positive discrimination towards women through the establishment of quotas, which does not necessarily please women more than to men, but is increasingly accepted because society considers it a necessary evil. 

Thanks to quotas, women in finance will have opportunities in the next 5 to 10 years to move up the corporate ladder. 

The Good reasons to recruit a female CFO

Women make up a little more than half the world’s population, representing only 40 percent of the global labor force (World Bank 2011).  In the United States, women now earn 51% of bachelor’s degrees in accounting, according to the National Center for Education Statistics and yet, there are much fewer women CFOs than men.

Indeed, less than 14 % of CFOs in the dataset are women, although the researchers find that the proportion has increased from 9% in 2009 to 10,6% in 2019. So yes , indeed it is improving but at a snail speed.

The Good reasons to recruit a female CFO

And in addition to this disappointing results, women occupy more CFO positions in smaller size companies.

  • 3% Women CFOs at firms with annual revenue greater than $100Bil, while 62% Women CFOs at firms with annual revenue less than $9Bil.

Although some barriers are coming down, there are still big obstacles facing women in finance, according to Tiffany Brown Managing Director at Accenture. In interviews conducted as part of International Woman’s Day celebrations, they noted steady and encouraging signs of progress. They also identified structural challenges women in finance still face and provided advice for women, and for broader finance organizations, to continue increasing female representation in finance leadership.

Why the lack of female CFOs?

So, why are women under-represented in senior finance positions, and in the CFO role in particular?

Women feel they have to do much more to be considered for promotion,” said Tiffany Brown.  “They think they need to accomplish five key objectives before they put themselves up for the next job, when a lot of men are happy to put themselves forward after accomplishing three. So, don’t be afraid, and just be yourself.

The low numbers pose serious questions that researchers have so far been unable to answer. “We must ask ourselves whether the small proportion of female CFOs is the result of inherent bias that is difficult to overcome, or due to self-selection of females who choose to avoid such careers in spite of the potential advantages they bring to these careers and to the firms who employ them” says Julia van den Bosch Wazen, Consultant, CFO Practice at Odgers Berndtson.

Women in key financial management positions tend to have a set of common challenges, the first one being the work-life balance, which is overcome by having the right support with a committed sponsor at work and finally having a role models.

1 Work life balance – COVID has forced the majority of businesses to work from home and has highlighted for many employers the dual nature of a working woman’s career. That said, before the pandemic, many CFO women told me that their lives were a constant balancing act that disappoint more – their partners, their children or their friends.

  • One tangible way to address these issues is to offer more flexible work schedules and teleworking. The more women has access to flexible schedules and telework options the more likely to keep working and been promoted.
  • The second way is :  time frame.  Evaluating candidates /women based on a holistic view of people’s careers over their lifetime of work. This would provide companies with a broader set of more experienced people to draw upon

2 – Sponsors are often men in leadership positions.

Indeed, self-advocacy is only part of landing promotions. “Sponsorship is a key element of career advancement said Katherine Mohrig from Accenture.  And women have a more difficult time finding sponsors, especially in male-dominated fields. That’s why it’s so important for finance leaders to intentionally take on this role for women in finance.  And at every level, it makes a difference to have someone who is giving you the right opportunities, helping you build the right relationships.

  • So, leaders – look for high potential women to sponsor
  • Women in finance, seek out strong leaders and ask them to be your sponsor.

3 – Role models matter, particularly for women.

Research shows that role models have an amplified benefit for women due to the gender biases, institutional barriers and negative stereotypes women have long had to contend with across a wide swathe of professional domains.

Role models have three core benefits for women:

  • Represent and expand what is possible
  • Inspire women to be more ambitious and aim higher
  • Demonstrate the mindsets and behaviors of how to rise

So, yes, Female role models inspire girls to think bigger, unfortunately there is a lack of role models for potential women CFOs.

Jamie Miller - The Good reasons to recruit a female CFO

Why women make good CFOs ?

So, yes, as mentioned in my introduction, Companies with female CFOs and/or CEOs prove more profitable than those led by men. And according to McKinsey’s latest Diversity Wins report, companies with more than 30% of women executives are more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10-30%.

Hence, at this stage, one might say that there is no need for further discussion. However, there are other great benefits to promoting women CFOs.

As Julia van den Bosch Wazen (Consultant, Odgers Berndtson’s CFO Practic) pointed out,  “The more diverse your management team, the more engaged your workforce, and the better your customers are looked after. You are better informed of the world, you tend not to miss trends, making your balance sheet strong and your organisation run more efficiently.

A CFO is much more than a numbers person. It is necessary that she in applying these new rules, it was found that companies often look for women to “check several boxes”, not only for sectoral expertise, but also for specific skills that are missing , such as international experience, digital skills, synchronicity and financial vision. 

After analyzing more than 96,000 earnings calls hosted by 2,800 companies in the US between 2009 and 2019, researchers find that female CFOs appear to be greatly appreciated. In a paper titled Benefits of Having a Female CFO, the team finds that female CFOs give “direct, concise and conservative presentations” and enjoy “stronger associations with future firm performance.

There are many benefits of having a female CFO… here are, at least, 4 advantages that women CFO brings to the table :

1 . The Competitive Edge of Soft Skills, including ability to communicate by emphasizing pedagogy in explaining the company’s challenges in order to mobilize employees on priority objectives

2. Better Problem-Solving, unwavering commitment to “working together” to build collective added value

3. Building transparency, ethics, building relationships based on trust

4. Challenge the status quo and to innovate in order to adapt the company’s processes, systems and organizations to the continuous flow of technological, economic and societal.

From professionalism to collaboration, to a supportive management style, to a cooperative problem-solving approach, women possess skills that make them invaluable assets.

5 things female CFO bring to the table

My experience, as female CFO, confirms that the financial arena is an area that requires a concerted effort to strengthen the pipeline of upcoming female financial leaders.

It will not happen by osmosis. There has to be a strategic agenda to make sure upcoming talent is ready and able to take on the new challenges of this field.

If 50% of the work has to be done on the eco-system (legislative framework, change of mentality, etc.), the 50% left has to be done with the women themselves.

Here are 5 things women should bring, as newly Promoted female CFO:

  1. Capitalize on their your hard skills (Performance), as newly promoted CFO, their performance has been recognized
  2. Strengthen your soft skills (behavior skills)
  3. Say loud and clear what you do and be proud of your achievements (Image)
  4. Take part in business meetings in order to seek out and bring transversality into the organization
  5. Go and meet the teams, peers, board members,… Network
Performance, Image, Network

In the end the path from CFO to CEO is clearly mapped out.  As the pace of hiring women CFOs increases, the pace at which women CFOs are promoted into CEO roles remains too slow.

Still barriers persist for gender parity, the outlook for women in finance is promising and improving. The world of finance work changes, driving an increased need for diverse talents and leadership.

Women’s empowerment is a cause I care about deeply.

So, if you want to have more practical advice, ask questions or simply connect, please don’t hesitate to book an appointment. As an experienced female CFO, I will give you my support in order to make your first weeks and months on the right track, sharing my methodology and expertise to help you to take ownership of your new role in a calm, and serein manner, but with efficiency.

Stephanie Teillard d’Eyry – Founder CFO TANDEM


Your First 30 days as CFO

You have been promoted and entering your first days as CFO / Head of Finance, your new position is broad, evolving, and requires the interaction of many people. The mere mastery of the technical elements is not enough and you will very quickly have to move up a gear. You will have to manage strategic and operational issues in parallel, with different teams, whatever the sector of activity.

Having worked as CFO for 15 years, in various countries for several international companies, I have managed large finance teams, different restructuring projects in complex matrix organizations.

It is on the basis of these experiences that I would like to share my thoughts / recommendations on how effectively to assume a new CFO / Head of Finance position during your first 30 days.

◆ Be ready to act

Think about the actions you want to take

  • what do you want to achieve on the first day? 
  • and the first week?

Be ready to act means to jot down your ideas for your first month, second month, and third month and eventually get a first idea of where you, as CFO, want to take your department.

Whether it’s your GM, your peers, or your direct reports, everyone expects immediate impact from you.

Don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of meetings. It’s up to you to control the tempo you wish to give to your actions.

Some CFOs fall into the trap of being too cautious for too long. Just having a plan will clear your mind and set you up for success.

Be prepared, but don’t jump into the action. Consider taking a step back for a moment.

◆ Make the breakthrough

Many newly promoted CFOs / Head of Finance work below current requirements. Find out what you need to do differently to become a strategic CFO and reject the comfortable model of your old role.

If you are promoted internally, establish a real stopping point: agree on a clear transition date with your boss.

Your former colleagues / peers but also the whole company still see you as a controller, so ask your boss to communicate in a formal way, to give full autonomy / legitimacy.

◆ Define your list of priorities

Define your list of priorities including the areas where you would be likely to have your first successes as these flow directly from the issues addressed during your hiring process:

  • the critical areas of business and finance that require special attention,
  • what is within your reach: the famous quick wins, which are not in the distant future.

And remember the major issues. If improving financial analysis and the budget process is vital to your stakeholders, what can your team do in the short term to show progress on this?

Define a plan, a gap analysis, with specific deliverables that will create value and influence momentum.

Your priority list should provide you and your team with clear direction, while allowing flexibility as you continue to soak up the situation.

◆ Create a learning plangrity

If it has been a while since you have faced a steep learning curve and the fear of being incompetent can create a vicious cycle. Self-doubt, passivity, denial, defensiveness or, at the other end of the spectrum, arrogance as cover can follow.

On the contrary, humility and transparency will help you succeed and create a learning plan will guide you.

Too many companies do not have a formal onboarding program for their newly promoted executives. Either because resources are limited or because HR and senior management feel it is your responsibility to provide a structured learning plan as they would for lower levels.

So figure out for yourself who needs to show you (see my offer 1 / Diagnosis) tell you or just teach you what you need to know ASAP.

◆ Focus on the fundamentals

Don’t get distracted by the small details of the company or your department just yet. You will find them out soon enough. Stay alert and ask yourself the right questions: 

  • what are the key indicators of your business? 
  • what do you need to know for your first COMEX presentation? 
  • what are the risks?
  • what could blind you?

Relationship building is as important to fundamentals as numbers and strategy.

To be accompanied by an experienced person (a CFO for instance) can also be useful in assessing the team and quickly finding the best way to deploy resources to meet challenges.

◆ Get involved and don’t sit on the sidelines

Take part in discussions, be visible, and above all, don’t stay behind your computers to analyze the digital situation.

Take advantage of this honeymoon period to ask all the questions you need to get a clear picture of the situation and prepare your plan.

Make sure your Managing Director and VIP Finance have visibility into the issues you are facing and see your progress. It also helps you stay in tune with their environment.

◆ Schedule meetings with your GM

One of the main comments from the newly promoted CFO is that his boss is very busy and has no time (more on this in an upcoming article / How to deal with my busy GM).

Don’t be shy, go as with onboarding meetings and remember that the best way to get another date is for your boss to walk away feeling like it was worth it.

Schedule meetings with your GM but also with another operating partner, key stakeholders.

These interviews will allow you to understand:

  • how your general manager sees and diagnoses the current situation of the company,
  • what are the main threats or opportunities that are emerging,
  • where is the company in its economic cycle,
  • what are the priorities of the operations team,
  • how you can support sales, marketing and operations.

Align expectations. What should you do in the short term for your GM? And in the medium term?

◆ Have a “style” conversation

How does your GM prefer to receive information? I have seen problems many times arise because a CFO likes to send long emails while the GM prefers short face to face meetings or quick calls / WhatsApp messages.

Does your GM like a lot of details, while you prefer to convey only the essentials that he or she “needs to know”? What types of decisions does he want to be consulted on and which ones can you decide for yourself?

Be in sync to avoid certain pitfalls.

In conclusion

In conclusion, your overall roadmap, based on your first diagnostic should be written in your first few weeks or so, even if it’s just a rough list of items. Specify goals, priorities, milestones and due dates.

After you’ve been in the role for about a month, share this plan, even in draft form, with your GM and functional manager, if applicable. Start your communication campaign.

By doing so, it creates clarity and alignment on how you’ll be spending your time, what you’ll do, and what you’ll postpone. It helps you avoid gaps and keeps you from focusing on anything that may not be important to your boss and peers.

Then, review with your GM how you’re doing against the plan at the end of each 30-day period and adjust the plan as your initial assessment of the strategy evolves. It will certainly help you in internal communication but will also reduce the pressure, as you will have a clear view of what to focus on. And in addition, it reassures in case of stress.

See my Roadmap offer. As an experienced CFO, I can give you my support in order to make your first weeks and months on the right track, sharing my methodology and expertise to help you to take ownership of your new role in a calm, and serein manner, but with efficiency.


10 qualities required to be a great CFO

You are a finance specialist, you have proven yourself in your previous jobs and you have just landed a CFO / Head of Finance position. Now it’s going to be about becoming a great CFO!
Here are the 10 required qualities that will lead you to success.

You have been promoted CFO / Head of Finance within your organization, congratulations! This promotion means that you have been recognized as a great controller, an excellent financial planning and analysis manager… or any outstanding in one of the positions you were in prior to this promotion. You were exceeding performance! Hence you deserved this promotion. At this stage, your technical expertise is known, well done!

Now, being a newly promoted CFO / Head of Finance, additional skills will be needed to become a great CFO. You may already have some of these needed skills, some will have to be strengthen and/or developed. Let’s review, what in my opinion are the TOP 10 qualities required to be a great CFO.

Before reviewing TOP 10 qualities required to be a great CFO, a few words regarding the CFO function by itself

When mentioning CFO, we agree that traditional CFOs who stick to the core functions, preparing the accounts, managing risk, etc., are now under threat. The role has changed.
The today CFO is more of a captain of the ship (than a policeman). If he remains the number one person in charge of the reliability of the accounts, cash management and the relationship with the banker, he must also position himself as a strategist, and deploy a more forward-looking vision. 

Indeed, the function is evolving into a very complete position, combining technical mastery and communication. Technical skills alone and an appetite for digital technology are no longer sufficient.  

Thus, 47% of the finance managers surveyed felt that, in its current composition, the finance function does not have the appropriate skills to meet the requirements arising from future strategic priorities. 

So, what are these TOP 10 qualities required to be a great CFO?

1. Analytical mindset

Understanding the company’s performance indicators and analyzing the company’s performance in the light of internal decisions and changes in the external environment is the main challenge facing the CFO. Analytical skills are required!

2. Excellent Communication between the GM and teams 

Whether written or oral, communication is a key asset for a CFO. He or she must be able to convey and popularize financial information to the entire company, from the CEO to the employees and the stakeholders. 

3. Vision and anticipation of results

Understanding and anticipating the market allows the CFO to create numerical projections, to anticipate the financial health of the company and, if necessary, to align his projections with those of the CEO. The CFO must clearly adopt a forward-looking approach and monitor performance indicators upstream.

4. Integrity

The CFO is the guarantor of the company’s financial ethics. For sure, he or she must constantly ensure that every transaction is honest, whether it is internal to the company or involves external stakeholders.
But also, the CFO has to lead the organization with integrity, be honest, treat people well.
Be accountable not just to their superiors but also to their peers and staff.

5. Leadership 

Given his many responsibilities, a CFO must work as part of a team. He or she must therefore demonstrate leadership qualities in order to delegate and control the progress of the company’s financial operations. Among the required qualities: emotional intelligence, management skills, self-control and empathy are therefore welcome! 

6. Deep understanding of the business 

A CFO is much more than a numbers person. It is necessary that he/she understands the company in its entirety (see point n°10), from its commercial/marketing aspect, to its R&D, including Human Resources. This will enable him to better arbitrate his financial strategy and make decisions in line with the general strategy of the company. 

7. Flexibility 

In a changing environment, constantly challenged by the evolution of technologies and the emergence of numerous FinTech’s, the CFO must be able to adapt permanently, and to take his teams with him (see point n°9).

8. Customer focus

Insofar as the CFO becomes a true partner of the GM, far from being a simple management controller, it is imperative that he/she measures not only financial data, but also indicators such as ROI, or even customer experience and satisfaction. This will allow him to move from a simple reporting logic to a logic of advice to the GM!

Internal customers are stakeholders who work within your company (employees) and require assistance from another individual or department to get their job done
Maximizing employee performance and running an organization with the utmost agility and efficiency, while meeting compliance and risk mitigation requirements, is critical for finance leaders today in their quest to achieve their most important goals.

9. Change management expert

As the digital ecosystem disrupts the business, the CFO must be able to support the change within his teams. The CFO must develop his department’s ability to accurately assess the implications of each digital project. Many tools for CFOs exist to simplify internal procedures!

10. Be the best of the class in organizations within functional areas

Knowing how to manage several functional areas of the company (supporting functions, purchasing, sales, HR, etc.) will allow him to better understand the structure, and therefore to arbitrate as accurately as possible between expenses and the real needs of each functional area. 

To conclude, in this changing environment, perceptions of what makes a great CFO are harder to pin down, and the expectations of colleagues, including GMs, are shifting and increasing.

Are you ticking all the boxes? Certainly not, and it is ok like this for now.

Becoming a Great CFO takes time, takes experience, needs the right tools to offload recurring tasks, and the best planning to provide essential business data. Do you come to the position with all of these skills? Perhaps not, but many can still be acquired, by making professional development a priority:

  • Developing them step by step.  
  • Having a development plan

My intention is to unpack these areas in different articles so that you can get to grips with planning your development journey effectively.

You surely already have some of these qualities, however other will need to be further developed…
I can help you to take-up your new position in a more serene, calm and confident manner.
Let’s discuss how you, as a newly promoted CFO / Head of Finance, can acquire/develop these top 10 qualities required to be a Great CFO.
Take a free 30 minutes consultation. Book now !


As a CFO, do you have a business mindset?

You have just been appointed CFO and in your new role, it’s easy to get caught up in routine financial tasks such as budgeting, forecasting, closing, processes, improving cash flow, top priority projects and more. But is this really what your GM and your management expect from you? Like many newly promoted CFOs you may think that you are already a Business oriented person… but do you really have a Business-Mindset?

Business-Mindset means do you, as a CFO, have a way of thinking that enables you to uncover and see problems as opportunities, and then turning those opportunities into a business? 
Do you, as CFO, have an understanding that everything around you is the result of someone having an idea and executing it?
Indeed, in my view, this is how, as a CFO, you will deeply help your business.

How to help your business and make the difference?

We talk a lot about finance as a “Business Partner” and there is a lot of writing on this topic. However, being a business partner does not necessarily mean having an ‘entrepreneurial’ spirit, that is, being focused on the business.

In my opinion, one of the most important things for you and your finance team is to be business-minded, wherever you are and whatever you do in finance.

Of course, financial management helps the organization determine what to spend, where to spend, and when to spend. It gives a better view of the organization’s financial condition, which describes in more detail the financial treatment of the organization. But if you want to make a difference, you need to be entrepreneurial and understand how your role helps the business.

Here are my tips and advice that will help you gain a business-mindset and understand the role you will need to play in helping your business. 

Go out and meet people

Sometimes we feel like we don’t have time to go out and chat with non-financial colleagues.  

Even Financial Business Partners who pretend that’s all they do, are in fact most of their time stuck behind their desks, gathering numbers around the balance sheet and income statement. 

If controllers can get up from their desks more easily, why can’t accounting, tax and payroll teams do the same?

We often tend to forget that virtually everyone in finance has some level of interaction with people outside of our department
Then it’s about doing more…

Take the opportunity to meet non-financial stakeholders and you will see the beauty of the job. Use all formal and informal opportunities to speak with stakeholders. Don’t just send DSO reports, or store KPIs through the mailing list… Go out, meet the sales teams, logistics teams, etc.

No, you and your team aren’t “stuck in the back office” as much as you think. 
Go out and ask questions, take interest in other areas. Ask your sales and customers service team to work closely with AR accountants, it will have a great impact on your DSO reduction for example.

Curiosity and leading to understanding are the starting point for closer collaboration and working relationships where you can do more to help the business. 
Indeed, remember, the finance people are there to help the business perform better, though, they have a “protecting role”, but they are also facilitators. 

Of course, prepare for discussions, prepare reports, collect background knowledge and formulate good questions. And listen to answers.

Listen with active listening

This point seems obvious and yet …  CFO/Head of Finance and our teams are very often pressed by deadlines to meet and we naturally tend to have a first glance to know the answer. However, it is necessary to listen and keep in mind what is important to see how you can help others

When you are liaising with your non-financial colleagues, listen to their priorities, understand their problems.  Ask them outright! Active listening is a way to gain business-mindset. You will learn a lot in understanding and will get great new ideas… transforming many problems into business opportunities.

Understand people’s constraints

Oportunum est, ut arbitror, explanare nunc causam, quae ad exitium While this does not mean that you always agree with your interlocutors, it also does not mean that you do not represent the interests of the company. Still, careful listening will help you better understand the situation and the financial figures that you find yourself facing.

Ask your Accounting Payables team to go and meet their internal clients, they will better understand how they can improve the accruals process together. 

Ask others what you can do to help them while keeping their priorities in mind, rather than just trying to give them more work to do. Not only does this potentially help the business, but it also builds confidence. It shows that you really care about helping them, not just about getting your business done.

Think about how you can help people

See how you could help them simplify their lives and create value for the business, without protecting them by giving them the ideas. The whole company is focused on business, value creation and the market and this is what will help you find common ground.

The help you provide will help make your collaboration excellent and your understanding of the business will increase. Of course, as a CFO / Head of Finance, you can’t pay for everything. 
A customer who doesn’t pay is a bad customer. Before you immediately turn your back, work together to find a solution that works for the company and meets your common goals.

Talk and interact with other teams

You are of course very busy, but you and your Finance team should seize every opportunity and meet the other teams because it is important to know what they are doing, what their main concerns are and how they fit together.

It’s also a chance to share what you know, to share about finance (people often read us the wrong way!), And to show what else you could do to help them.

Involve the members of your teams individually in cross-functional projects

They will be your eyes and ears, they will defend the interests of the company, but above all it will allow them to acquire a business spirit through this sharing. 

We avoid these opportunities too often, mistakenly thinking that it will give us extra work. But what a gain of time afterwards! And in addition, the vision of your financial management will be transformed. you will become a source of proposals and involved in the company!

In a nutshell it is very important to keep in mind how you can help the business, how the finance team can help the business, how you can create value for the business? And all this while protecting the asset (obviously!).

How to bring value ​​to the business then?

As mentioned in the introduction, business-mindset is a way of turning problems into opportunities. Thinking out of the box, is probably not what could be a first asked to a CFO/ Head of Finance.

So, after having talked and actively listen to others, interacted with non-financial departments, understood constraints… the question for you and your finance teams is how to be bring value to the business?

As CFO/Head of Finance, what can we do the add value to our business? what can we do to make the difference, what makes us different and remarkable? do we have an understanding that everything around us is the result of someone having an idea and executing it ? 

As a first steps, and before even jumping and complex activity here bellow few actions, that as CFO / Head of Finance, we should keep in mind and have it on our day to day action plan. 

Removing obstacles

Remove barriers to adding value and demonstrate results, doing it step by step and area by area.

Be agile and have a business mindset to evaluate how you can remove obstacles, ensuring that the entire company is focused on the outside company world, and not over spending time in sticky processes, reports and controls.

Yes, CFO / Head of Finance, are paid to control and put controls in place, but the ones which will serve the business, not only the one which will help to sleep calm at night.

So, you will need to Changing behavior, will drive you to a change of processes.

Analyze and improve: you can identify where lags are occurring, or inefficiencies are surfacing, and fix them for greater process efficiency. Sometimes, workflows may require additional tasks or the removal of irrelevant or redundant tasks. These can also be brought to light with analysis.

As a basic example, I guess you do not want to punish for best salesperson, with very slow and over complicated expenses reports..

So as CFO/ Head of Finance with a business-mindset, you will analyze how you can remove the obstacles of the heavy/slow sales force expenses report while protecting the company asset.

This simple example can be expanded to many areas within the company.

Use effective best practices, most of the time the ones you already have within your organization.

Constant improvement

Keeping agility mindset, pressure to reduce operational costs and improve efficiencies and support improvement by addressing fundamental drivers of financial capability.vement.

For example, increase process speed by identifying and eliminating redundant tasks, as in many corporations it tends to be over complex / cumulating controls over the time.  

Keep in mind that, as a CFO / head of Finance, you should stop fixing and start improving.


As a newly promoted CFO / Head of finance, you will for sure need to work on all financial aspects, but you shortly you will have to focus on the business. I would then recommend you to do it with an Intrapreneurship spirit. 
What does it mean? We used to improve competitive positioning and transform corporations, their markets, and industries when opportunities for value-creating innovations are developed and exploited. Large, established companies are now being forced to find new ways to adapt to increasing pressure from smaller, faster and more agile companies.

Looking to the business with curiosity, develop connections inside and outside the company, get new ideas, support improvement by addressing fundamental drivers. As a representant of the Finance, you and your team, will surprise by bringing to you finance with new ways of working, bringing openness and curiosity.  

But do not take it wrong: having an Intrapreneurship does not mean that you do ‘creative finance’. No, you are still here to protect the company, but do it with a business mindset. 

I hope these points are helpful and give you ideas on how you can turn a new role, as CFO/ Head of Finance that you thought was ‘technical’ into one that has business impact.

Indeed, it is a question of having the right state of mind; having the spirit of enterprise will make it possible to bring value to your company. You and your teams will be perceived very differently, you will really be the Business partner, with the right mindset. And you will make the difference.

So if you feel that you need to be accompany in order to faster your Business mindset as newly promoted CFO / Head of Finance, and accelerate the start in you new job, 

I can help you to take-up your new position in a more serene, calm and confident manner. 

Let’s discuss how you, as a newly promoted CFO, can acquire/develop the Business Mindset required to be a Great CFO. 
Take a free 30 minutes consultation. Book now !