The Chief Financial Officer: What CFOs Do, the Influence they Have, and Why it Matters

The Chief Financial Officer: What CFOs Do, the Influence they Have, and Why it Matters

by The Economist, Jason Karaian


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The rapid rise in importance of the role of the chief financial officer — from back-office accountant to front-line executive — is unrivaled by that of any other corporate position. With access to every facet of the business, CFOs now wield a level of influence matched only by chief executives.

This book explains how CFOs earned their privileged status, and what the future may hold for them. It describes their ever-expanding role, and how they are reshaping their departments to help them deal with that transformation. Insights from current and former CFOs provide a first-hand perspective on finance leaders' aspirations and doubts. It is a useful reference for finance chiefs seeking to learn from peers and benchmark their own performance; for those looking to build a career in the C-Suite; for managers seeking to improve their relationship with the finance department; for service providers — banks, accountancies and consulting firms — and anyone else who wants to get on the good side of the keeper of the corporate checkbook.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781610393850
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 04/08/2014
Series: Economist Books Series
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Jason Karaian is a senior writer on finance and business for the Economist Intelligence Unit. He was previously a writer on CFO magazine.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements viii

Introduction ix

1 Origins: from the back office to the front line 1

2 Role: ensuring control, driving strategy 13

3 Responsibilities: internal affairs 30

4 Relationships: colleagues and partners, friends and foes 62

5 Prospects: a world of possibilities 89

Notes and sources 110

Appendix 121

Index 135

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