Changes in the C-Suite: 3 Traits to Look for in Recruiting Modern CFOs

Changes in the C-Suite: How to Hire your Modern CFO

When recruiting new leaders, it’s important to understand what is a Modern CFO. Modern CFOs can be defined as dynamic, forward-looking, solution-driven. Accounting, and finance departments in businesses have been heavily affected by technology like other sectors. Technology creates an expectation that modern CFOs have not only an understanding key financial indicators throughout the entire month, sometimes daily, but also the technology being used to gather this information. In a fast-paced world, waiting for a business to close the accounting period to look at numbers can be detrimental, for both the CFO and the company. 

The processes used for accounting and finance have significantly improved over the past decade. This ability to allow for continuous accounting allow CFOs to be in the know of spending—while accurately reporting transactions—leading to minor accruals made at month-end. Finally, heavy reporting tools, such as key productivity indicators and dashboard reporting, CFOs can adapt quickly to changes in the business environment. 

3 Traits to look for in a CFO in today’s hiring environment include:


In a world filled with ample amounts of competition, what does resilience look like? Resilience includes the ability to adapt in times when changes are necessary and happen—especially when it’s out of one’s/company’s control. Overcoming challenges, setbacks and how you react as a CFO will highlight your success. 

A new CFO will typically receive a lot of pressure from employees, shareholders, and customers. It’s important that a successful, modern CFO takes pressure in stride and is able to handle the challenges each day. 

Financial Expertise

Understanding financial principles and accounting is crucial for being able to successfully give direction to these department teams.  Having well-rounded financial expertise in a number of key areas is extremely important for a CFO’s success.

Most CFOs come to their position after experience in public accounting, general controllership, and FP&A. They have an understanding of financial reporting and can ask strategic questions designed to improve business performance and ensure accurate books.

Forward-Looking Thinking

Being a better business leader requires the ability to anticipate things to come. CEOs and CFOs are close to the financials, putting them in a good place to spot significant changes in revenue and expenses. This information can help to make strategic recommendations that influence the course of the business. 

CFOs should stay on top of their FP&A team to ensure that they have the most accurate forecasts available to make decisions. They should be a prominent player in the development of the annual budget and seek advice from all sides of the business to ensure that all anticipated expenses are accounted for.

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