The Roman philosopher and statesman Lucius Annaeus Seneca once said that “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” Although this is a true statement in many ways, knowing how the wind will be on the journey to the desired port is critical. Every business needs a detailed business plan so everyone in the venture knows where they are going and how they plan to get there. However, along the path, every business needs to understand what they face along that journey. That’s why financial forecasts are so crucial. They allow businesses to see how they are faring on their journey. Having this financial plans from forecasts allows the owners of firms “to track actual events against the financial plan and make adjustments as the year passes.”1 Read more
Innovation, creativity, and thinking outside of the box are buzzwords in the business world. There’s good reason for it because the smallest difference in a product or service can drive exponential profits. Innovation and creativity may be the center of the talk, but these words merely orbit around the power of an idea. After all, an idea sparks innovation, creativity, and outside thinking into action. Read more
Every company spends hundreds to thousands of working hours a month strategizing ways to make it to the top. Although there is no single secret to doing this, there is a single way of stopping your company from reaching the pinnacle of success: not having a CFO. Read more
by Mitch Owens, Marketing Executive at TOP CFOS
If we were to make a list of the most common human characteristics, good or bad, procrastination would most certainly be in it. Whether it’s getting around to perfecting your your jump shot, sending a thank you note to a friend, or finishing up that report at work, it’s safe to say that you and I have both been guilty of putting something off. Read more
Roles can be misleading. More often than not, they are nothing more than a word that organizes where certain people sit in an office. Take for instance, the role of a CFO. Many consider the CFO as the most glorified accountant of a company, the firm’s money manager, but in reality, they are the secret to a company’s success. Bruce Besanko, the CFO of OfficeMax points this out when he stated that “as CFO, I’m in a unique position within the organization, at the absolute center of the universe. The only other executive besides me that has that same presence at the center is the CEO.”1
Of course a CFOs traditional role, namely, overseeing taxes, budgeting, accounting, financial planning, and analysis, is critical to the success of any company. When businesses fail to manage these areas they end up failing in general. However, the CFO’s role is evolving into a more robust position that is critical to every facet of a business. Read more
By Mitch Owens, blog writer at TOP CFOS
Of all the ways to gauge a business’s success, growth rate is perhaps the most useful. It not only validates a firm’s value proposition, but it also spells out opportunity. Increased cash from operations and investor interests enable growing businesses to maintain a competitive advantage while expanding their horizons. Everybody loves growth. However, too much growth can hurt businesses. By paying close attention to your financials, though segment and ration analysis, you will know how right rate to grow. Read more
It seems intuitive. Increased revenue means increased profits, right? Of course this may be true in the simplest of cases but it’s typically wrong. The fact of the matter is that increased growth means increased complexity, and with this increased complexity there is a need for stringent cash flow management. Read more
The rivalry between firms’ sales and financial departments is real. Rather than seeing each department as a player with a different position in the same team, erroneous perceptions lead many to view them as opposing teams in the same sport. However, if a firm wants to achieve competitive advantage, it must understand the critical roles finance and sales play for each other. Read more
The path to success isn’t always a straight line. We’re all familiar with this when we drive on roads away from our intended destination but towards the highway that ultimately leads us there. Despite this familiarity with our physical travels, many tend to seek straight paths towards their business goals, especially those involving business networking.
In search for the straight path to success, business professionals tend invest the much of their efforts in developing new skill sets and enhancing their knowledge. This is important to do, but taking this approach without investing the time and effort in building meaningful business connections is an unrealistically straight path to success. Effective business connections give you resources that the greatest skill sets do not. Read more
Whenever people think of successful companies, their initial thoughts typical go to the businesses offering then they move onto the leadership of the CEO. Great CEOs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are, or course, invaluable keys to success, but that doesn’t mean we should ever overlook the second most important role—The CFO.
CFO’s do the behind the scenes heavy lifting that sustains businesses and moves them from being good to being great. Here’s an account from one our CFOs that shows this priceless value of good financial oversight. Read more