Modern-day CFO is Not Just About Being Good with Numbers


Being good with numbers is not the only qualification required for a modern-day Chief Financial Officer. Sony Group recently elevated its 58-year-old CFO Hiroki Totoki to a position overseeing all operations, a move that splits the burden of running a Japanese giant spanning everything from chips to movies to insurance. It once again proves that Modern-day CFOs are not just number-friends but direct growth contributors with diverse business skills.

While this additional business aspect has become a role necessity, the investors will continue to demand growth and profitability simultaneously. Hence, CFOs, while comprehending that they are perceived as direct growth hackers, must find ways to ensure shorter timelines and intact quality with lower costs. That means coordinating with other C-suite executives, reimagining work, and tech-enabling the organization. They must build business strategies that deliver sustainable outcomes quickly reflected in profit and loss (P&L) statements.

Well, while digitalization is a way of doing business rather than a one-time investment, CFOs must ensure that they find tangible benefits and monetize investments in digital technology. Indeed, many of these technologies, some of them in early development, are already creating significant impacts. The mantra for the automotive CFOs is taking that leap of faith. However, they need team members who are not only skilled in accounting, auditing, and compliance but also understand data visualization, are flexible thinkers, possess good communication skills, and, most importantly, have a lot of business sense. We dedicate this special issue to the excellent CFOs in Japan.

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