Following is the transcript of an interview with Eric Eaton, Steve Ford, Audrey Wells, and Richard Wolf.
Eaton: The CFO’s role is probably very different from what it was 20 years ago.
Wells: Finance is really involved in every aspect of the organization. It all comes back to the money.
Ford: It’s very important that a CFO is a more comprehensive voice of reason within the company.
Eaton: You are looked upon to play a very active role in the overall establishment of the strategy of the business.
Wolf: I view the CFO as being one of the key partners with the CEO and the rest of the operating team.
Ford: I think the biggest challenges to the CFO are really being able to be ahead of the trends.
Wells: All the rules that we grew up with, economic cycles, and things like that, aren’t necessarily holding true anymore. Things have changed.
Ford: The purpose of business is to make a profit and provide an environment for everyone to learn, to grow, to contribute.
Wells: No cash flow issues at all. We’ve got contracts that have been renewed, we feel comfortable with them, and most importantly, our programs are running smoothly. Our clients are getting their service and our staff is happy.
Wolf: People enjoy coming to work each day and they’re comfortable that the company is doing something that keep it in existence for a long period of time.
Ford: It’s very interesting that most CFOs are really focused on profit. They’re focused on the numbers. Those are critical measuring elements, but happy satisfied workforce is very important.
Wolf: To be part of the decision makers of the company, to be the financial advisor to the people that have the creative ideas that have the drive to lead the company.
Wells: I rarely spend all day in my office and to me, that’s one of the best things about the job is that it doesn’t ever get boring.
Eaton: A good CFO gets himself grounded in everything that makes your business run.
Ford: You are given an opportunity that truly does not have limits, that does not have any doors closed to you. You have to use it wisely.
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