Why all-rounders will trump number-crunchers in financial leadership race

13 February 2013 -


The days of career accountants in chief financial officer roles may be numbered

Business heads are seeking chief financial officers whose leadership styles make them commercial all-rounders, rather than looking to traditional accountants, says a leading headhunter. 

David Chancellor, head of the financial officer practice for global executive search firm Tyzack Partners, says the recession has changed corporations' views of the leadership styles they need to drive their financial operations.

The 21st century has seen great change in leadership styles and this is no exception. Rather than veteran accountants, business bosses increasingly want their CFO to be their right-hand man or woman, and look at ways to boost the company’s value, Chancellor told CMI members' magazine Professional Manager.

“It’s a major trend in the market,” he said. “CFOs are being asked to deliver on a much wider range of tasks. No longer can they be considered simply as conservative, number-crunching executives. Chief executives expect their head of finance to fully analyse the financial impact of the company’s objectives and strategies while they’re still in the planning stages, not after the moves have been made, as has traditionally been the case.”

Formal training, experience in accounting and financial reporting, risk-management skills and unquestionable integrity remain crucial to the required leadership styles, Chancellor stressed. But he added that: “a deep understanding of business processes, competitor, customer and supplier environments – and the financial impact of industry trends – are additional competencies we are now looking for.”

Powered by Professional Manager