BlogsWhat your CEO wants in a CFO

September 15, 2016, by Ryan Miller

Our CFO of the Future series has one prominent theme: CFOs must manage a variety of responsibilities and expectations. And one of the chief places where these expectations stem from is the CFO’s fellow C-suiter, the CEO. No longer does a CEO rely on the CFO just for financial aptitude. Like we’ve been saying, the days of simple number-crunching are gone. The CEO needs a strategic partner that will drive the company’s mission and business, and offer intelligible guidance on issues pertaining to regulation, technology and the company’s financial health.

A study conducted by KPMG revealed the top business attributes CEOs looks for in a CFO. The top 5 are:
1. Global experience 
2. Experience with transformation and innovation
3. Length of tenure
4. Industry experience
5. Pan-industry experience

Do you know what was at the bottom of the list? Technical and analytical skills.

Sure, any CFO will have the financial and accounting skills required to climb that ladder to this top-level position, but that is not the limitation of their role now. As CFO, they must have a resume that stretches across countries, regions and business changes. KPMG calls it a Renaissance CFO, and we couldn’t agree more.

As a CFO, you work very closely with your CEO. Establishing a great working relationship is just as important as the skills you bring to the table. The KPMG study also revealed the top personal qualities CEOs look for in the CFO. The top 5 are:
1. Leadership qualities
2. Attention to detail and processes
3. Ability to execute
4. Ability to deal with shareholders/analysts
5. Big-picture thinking and strategic approach

The role of a CFO is a coveted position, but also carries great responsibility. With today’s changing healthcare environment, there are many questions about meeting regulations in the most cost-effective way. Centennial serves as your consultant in this area so you can be the best advisor to your CEO.

To learn more about ways in which Centennial supports CFOs, please contact Ryan Miller at (714) 740-1111 ext. 274 or