The Role if A Successful CFO

“Wisdom outweighs any wealth” said the ancient Greek Playwright Sophocles (496BC -406 BC)

Finance involves wealth creation and which is impossible without wisdom or knowledge.

In the Corporate world CFO’s play a stellar role in wealth creation to all the stakeholders and it’s only then he is considered successful.

Definition of CFO

The Chief Financial Officer in the Corporate arena has a very important function as he is responsible for handling all the finance and finance related matters.

As the finance function interfaces with all the functions like Production,Marketing,Procurement,Human Resources etc its considered as a lifeline.

 Financial success of any corporate is largely dependent as how the CFO supports the day to day financial operations and  is able to navigate astutely the various challenges involved therein, as also the future risks.

He wears multiple hats, as a custodian of finances ,adherence to ever changing statutes and juggle acrobatically all the  finance requirements.

CFO is also considered a Key Management Personnel and part of the decision making body.



Role of CFO

In a business environment the CFO has a very crucial role to play, as he has to bind all the stakeholders, towards a common goal, for the success of the organization.

The various stakeholders are the following:

1. Management- for Accounting/Business Support and good governance

2. Employees- for Payroll

3. Vendors -for Servicing of Payments

4. Customers- for Servicing of orders

5. Bankers- for Servicing of Bank Credits/ transactions

6. Statutory Agencies- for compliances

7. Govt. Agencies- for various requirements

8. Shareholders/Investors- for servicing their  finance expectations

As evident from the above, the canvas is huge and so are the expectations, which requires tact, knowledge and versatility.



There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.

A successful CFO would require to have almost a superhuman talent and skill set to meet the expectations of the various stakeholders, as above.

In doing so, he is expected to have certain core values, like personal integrity, in depth  knowledge, which needs to be regularly updated and the competence to provide thought leadership, for smooth running of the organization. In fact, he is expected to be an allrounder (to use a cricketing term), who would provide a proactive support to the Company Management Team.

Currently, certain prominent Corporates, consider the CFO as a Chief Value Officer. This was advocated by Deloitte in Denmark in a Danish business newspaper Borsen sometime ago. This is largely due to the fact that conventional areas like Accounting, Compliance, Reporting would happen almost effortlessly due to automation/digitalization.

Hence, the CFO/CVO has to have a value focused approach, to create value by predictive analytics and algorithms.

It may be mentioned that the Professional Courses like CA/CPA/CMA/ACCA/CIMA/CISA/FRM have all an important role to create that superman with the requisite knowledge, core competence and values ingrained. These courses have proved themselves globally and will continue to ignite the minds of the young and old.


All successful companies in the Fortune list will most certainly have CFOs who are almost superhuman in their competence and knowledge. But at the same time, they are super human beings as well.

There is one such individual personally known to me, who is very publicity shy and hence I am unable to name him.

In him, I see all qualities that I have enumerated above.

 Bob Shanks, CFO of Ford has summarized it well as follows:

‘Operating a global business in fast changing world,you have to be grounded realtime in an external environment, have a complete transparency, be fact based, and working with a great, collaborative team.”



Currently having a Sole Proprietorship Firm styled as G.SRIKUMAR & Co.

Currently with JRS & Co, Chartered Accountants, as Director (formerly Partner for 10 years) in charge of the Bangalore Branch. The Firm has 5 offices (Bangalore/Kochi/Kollam/Trivandrum/Dubai). The Firm offers services of Accounting/Auditing/CFO Services and Taxation Advisory Services.

Holds Independent Director Role with TJL Ltd for last two years.

Holds Governing Council role in an E Education LLP

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