Seven Skills That Make a Great CFO

Like most jobs, the role of the CFO is evolving alongside technology. Now responsible for so much more than managing balance sheets, modern CFOs have adopted more of a leadership role which involves collaborating with other business functions alongside their traditional finance duties.

This leaves many employers confused about what’s expected from today’s CFO. Here we share seven skills that a great CFO should possess if they’re going to ensure your business stays on top.

A great business partner

Today’s business environment expects CFOs to expand their focus across many non-financial aspects of an organisation. From talent management, marketing and measuring, growing and investing in corporate profitability to sales, HR and customer service, a CFO should excel at maintaining business partnerships between key functional areas.

Technical skills

Technology is something that modern businesses can’t ignore. Those who fail to embrace it and use it to their advantage are going to fall behind the competition. With CFOs playing such an important role in the everyday running of and future operations of an organisation, it’s critical that they’re good with technology.

Risk assessment

A huge part of a CFO’s role is risk assessment. They’re there to advise your business about potential risks, how to avoid them and mitigate the impact of a crisis should it happen. This can include anything from financial, IT and compliance risk to supply chain, debt and liquidity risk.

Combining technology with everyday processes such as financial planning and management, data mining, profitability analysis and forecasting is something that senior finance professionals should be comfortable with.

Data analytics

With technology advancing rapidly, the data analytics available to businesses is better than ever. These insights help drive better business decisions, but only if your CFO knows how to interpret it.

A CFO should be agile with data analytics and have the ability to think strategically when it comes to using this information to increase profitability.


From investors and board members to external partners, CFOs engage with almost every stakeholder. What’s more, they’re also collaborating with other functions within the business including sales, marketing, IT, HR and customer service.

A first-class CFO should be able to communicate financial ideas and strategy proficiently, even when engaging with those who have limited finance knowledge.


Today’s CFOs are heavily involved with managing and building teams as well as assisting with recruitment and team building. With an ability to bring teams together and ensure everyone is supported and empowered within their roles, a brilliant CFO should possess great leadership skills.


Many CFOs are now choosing to specialise in specific industries because they’re expected to understand every aspect of a company’s business model and industry.

From being able to identify opportunities for growth and where savings can be made to benchmarking the organisation against its competition and preparing it for potential market volatility, your CFO should be adept when it comes to your company’s operations.

To test the skills of a potential new hire or your existing finance team, get in touch to find out more about The Acuity MethodTM.

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