Published on 7th November 2016
Our latest Financial Controllers Panel Series ‘What does it take to be a CFO’ was held today at our Hong Kong office. Our panelists were Travis Huggins, Head of Finance at Riot Games Hong Kong Studio, Arthur Yu, CFO Asia, Middle East, Africa & Turkey at BT Global Services and Nick Waterworth, Chairman & CEO of publicly listed recruitment group Ambition (ASX: AMB).
We discussed and compared the varying challenges facing senior finance professionals depending on the industry, size and scale of the businesses they work in. As well as sharing challenges from their current roles, the panel shared their own expectations, requirements as well as their top tips to becoming a CFO.
The key tips for finance professionals aspiring to be CFOs discussed were:
- Stay up to date with latest technologies and actively go out of your way to seek involvement in technology projects.
- The ability to manage and embrace technology and drive innovation will be a key driver to the success of a CFO in the future.
- Strong communication, presentation and interpersonal skills are critical so if you do not like presenting then upskill (take courses and actively seek out presentation opportunities!)
- Integrity underpins the role of CFO so never compromise!
- Don’t be afraid to push back! CEOs need a CFO that is able to say ‘no’ but they must be able to communicate effectively around why!
- Seek wider experience than purely Finance and Accounting such as management of HR, IT, Operations.
- Embrace international career opportunities
- Tell a story: Rather than being reactive, a great CFO is able to explain to the CEO or board of directors what the numbers mean for their business & proactively recommend solutions to business issues
Many thanks to our panelists and to all those who attended and if you are interested in attending our next Financial Controller Panel Series event please get in touch!