D Murali

From CFO to CEO

D. MURALI | Updated on November 15, 2017



There are ‘8 ways' to move from CFO to CEO, and what tops the list is to focus on the opportunity, says Peter Bartram in www.fm-magazine.com. “An ambitious CFO should consciously seek out a CEO who is willing to mentor and work with them as part of a succession plan. However, some CEOs may be protective of their position, unwilling to assist,” reads the advice of Jennifer Price, who leads the finance practice at Archer Mathieson, an executive search consultancy, cited in the article.

The second tip in Bartram's list is to get an external perspective. He quotes Christine Hodgson, CEO of Capgemini's application services business in the UK and chairman of Capgemini UK, for the wisdom that a really good CFO is one that's visible externally; not just a person who is recording what's going on, but a person who is out there being involved in negotiations and client relationships. “As CFO, don't lock yourself away in the back office and become buried in the detail. Be very much the right hand of the CEO,” urges Hodgson. “Learn about the external market by interacting with the whole supply chain…Build a top team around you so that it gives you the headroom to become more externally focused.”

Counsel that can goad you to try leaping to the top.

Strategic push

Role in strategic initiatives is a top challenge for CFOs from across the US, Canada and Mexico, according to a recent survey by Deloitte. “Providing metrics, information, and tools needed for sound business decisions” and “influencing business strategy and operational priorities” were atop the finance organisation challenges list, each with votes from 43 per cent of CFOs, reads a report of Ken Tysiac in www.cgma.org. “Influencing business strategy rose from 35 per cent in the previous quarter, and providing metrics decreased slightly.”

Tysiac notes that CFOs' answers in the survey suggested that their staff need training to perform in a strategic role. “When asked to rate the need for specific competencies in their organisation, 75 per cent indicated that their staff's analytical acumen, the ability to access, analyse and present information for decisions, needs to improve. Sixty per cent said they need to improve their staff's political acumen – their ability to get decisions, consensus and action.”

Findings of interest for finance professionals.

Global MA

A joint venture of significance is the one about the new global accounting designation – Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA) – bringing together the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). The CGMA is available to members of both organisations; and while it is free for CIMA members, a designation fee of $150 will apply for AICPA members after July 31, 2012.

The new designation gives professional accountants access to information, tools, products, and a global network, writes Anne Rosivach in www.accountingweb.com. “The CGMA is a strategically vital complement to your CPA credential – enhancing and powering your experience and career path,” announces www.aicpa.org. The CGMA mission is to promote the science of management accounting on the global stage, says www.cgma.org. “The designation champions management accountants and the value they add to an organisation.”

The JV, named the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants is owned 60 per cent by the AICPA and 40 per cent by CIMA. The JV board has equal representation from the two bodies, with the Chair rotating between the AICPA and CIMA on a 12-month basis. “Through this joint venture, both CIMA and AICPA governing boards/councils will gain broader perspectives of the global accounting profession by virtue of cross-representation on each association's governing body…”

Any lessons for the accounting institutions closer home?

Solemn findings

Arlington National Cemetery, the final resting place for many of the US' military service-members, is the subject of a recent report in www.gao.gov, the site of the Government Accountability Office, US. “In June 2010, the Army Inspector General identified problems at the cemetery, including deficiencies in contracting and management, burial errors, and a failure to notify next of kin of errors,” informs the section titled, ‘Why GAO did this study.'

Among the recommendations of the GAO are the implementation of enterprise architecture, and reassessment of ongoing and planned information-technology investments. Organisations increase the risk that their information-technology investments will not align with their future operational environment if these investments are not guided by an approved enterprise architecture, the report notes.

Interestingly, the GAO study also looks at feasibility and advisability of transferring jurisdiction for the Army's national cemeteries to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Acknowledging that there are opportunities to expand collaboration between the Army and VA that could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these organisations' cemetery operations, the GAO observes that, when considering the nation's long-range fiscal challenges, the federal government must identify ways to deliver results more efficiently and in a way that is consistent with its limited resources.

Educative material on government accounting.

Supreme independence

Top in the ‘news' section of www.intosai.org, the site of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, is the item about the United Nations General Assembly adopting the Resolution “Promoting the efficiency, accountability, effectiveness and transparency of public administration by strengthening supreme audit institutions.”

The Resolution is described in the site as ‘the crowning conclusion of the common efforts of all SAIs to strengthen their independence and for recognition of the Lima and Mexico Declarations,' and ‘a milestone in the nearly 60-year history of INTOSAI.' What is also highlighted is the express recognition for the first time by the General Assembly that SAIs can accomplish their tasks objectively and effectively only if they are independent of the audited entity and are protected against outside influence.

Furthers the case for the independence of institutions.

Published on February 05, 2012

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