Don ChamberlinThe plight of the modern CFO is having to be more than their job title. As times change, so too must the face of business. With hundreds of companies around the world, each vying for the biggest slice of pie, it behooves the modern CFO to fold multiple skills into their portfolio. Rising above their station, CFO’s are tasked with more than ever before. What are some elements that make for a competent and modern CFO? Below is a short list of qualities that companies are looking for in their Chief Financial Officers.

Business Acumen: It goes without saying that to venture into the world of business demands an understanding of the terrain. A CFO’s job was once to just understand the financial side of the company they served, but now it has grown to something more all-encompassing. You cannot effectively lead a portion of the company without understanding how the whole will function as a result, so CFO’s must be able to see the bigger picture beyond their spreadsheets.

Flexibility: Now more than ever, CFO’s are being called to work with non-financial aspects of their companies. Most often paired with human resources, a modern CFO must be willing to adapt to a change in roles and involvement. As head of finance, the company relies on a CFO like a body relies on a heart. Without one, the other ceases to be.

Communication: A necessary skill branching off of the above two, communication is a vital skill in any workplace. However, as a CFO, you are tasked with translating your meticulously gathered financial data to the rest of your company. While your vernacular will clearly be suited for the task, being able to translate that information into bite-sized portions for the rest of the company requires the ability to communicate.