By task I mean the duty or function of a CFO. While a CFO is involved in virtually every aspect of a business, the main tasks can be narrowed to four.
- The first and most basic function of a CFO is to ensure that the necessary financial statements are produced that reflect the reality of the business in a timely manner. It is only by knowing the real financial condition of the business that the CEO can then know the weaknesses that exist , the areas of strength, and the next steps necessary for continual improvement.
- Another important task of the CFO is to communicate effectively and timely with the CEO, key team members, and critical stakeholders of the company the key financial information needed by each group of people in order to ensure the financial soundness of the business.
- The CFO must see the big picture and be forward looking. The CFO must work closely with the CEO to set the strategic direction of the company and produce the forward looking reports such as the business plan, budget, and cash projections that forecast future needs and build reporting systems that enable the company to stay the course.
- The CFO must use his knowledge and skill set to minimize risk. He must ensure that internal controls are implemented that protect the company’s assets.