Managing the financial operations of a company is an extremely detailed task, and based on a recent survey of CFOs conducted by Pearson Partners International and the University of Texas at Dallas, the CFO's most important role is company strategy (cited by 80% of respondents), particularly when it comes to working with the CEO's agenda. Second for CFOs is the ability to reliably report financial results and third is the ability to reliably budget and plan.
"The survey shows the importance of finding and retaining CFOs who can handle an ever-increasing and more complex set of responsibilities," points out Keith Pearson, president and vice chairman of Pearson Partners. For instance, 76% say that the IT department reports to them, and 53% say that human resources reports to them. However, 64% believe that most CFOs are not adequately prepared to manage the impact of the global economy on their businesses, a problem that is more prevalent at companies under $500 million than those over $500 million.
Perhaps not surprisingly, considering that only CFOs answered the survey, 85% of respondents believe that the CFO is the logical choice as the successor to the CEO.