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CFO Roles are in Demand

​As inflation and higher interest rates signal the end of easy money, companies are ensuring they have the right CFO in the role to help them adeptly manage through this. Post COVID-19, a once robust CFO job market distinguished by high demand for a limited supply of seasoned CFO candidates and rising hires of aspiring internal leaders, suddenly slowed.

Traditionally, the CFO role consists of bookkeeping and records, reporting to investors and ensuring compliance with laws and regulations. Other important responsibilities for the CFO role includes managing treasury, raising and managing financing, controlling the up-streaming of cash and related distributions and supporting capital markets teams.

How the CFO Role is Changing

More recently, the finance function is expected to be involved in more value-added activities, such as transactions, and to drive improvements that will increase the vehicle and manager performance. For someone in a CFO role to win the confidence of the stakeholders, a stellar track record of historic financial performance coupled with their ability to demonstrate and manage stakeholders’ perception of how they manage essential risks is key.

In the wake of the pandemic, CFO’s had to raise billions of dollars to shut down operations, furlough thousands of workers and switch to remote work practically overnight, added to the complexity and regularity of a CFO’s role and responsibilities. Budgets were slashed and banks were asked to extend credit lines to keep businesses afloat.

The Future of the CFO Role

The CFO role of tomorrow must be able to take financial data and use it to provide strategic leadership and influence decision making. They are often being counted on to evaluate business models and help drive business objectives. With the increasing complexity of today’s finance and accounting regulations and processes, individuals in a CFO role need to ensure that their organizations have access to the most up-to-date, secure, and efficient finance and accounting information and software. Typically, nobody understands the entire company quite as well as the individual in the CFO role.

Globally, CFOs and their finance teams have been dealing with the question of sustainability for some time. Environment, society, and governance (ESG) issues create a series of new business risks that fall under the responsibility of the CFO role. A research study by professional services firm Deloitte found that progressive CFOs are starting to realise that sustainability is now within the finance domain. “Finance teams are in a unique position to not only translate and operationalise sustainability within their organisations, but also communicate outcomes to stakeholders,” said the report.

With investors and regulators increasingly focused on the ESG issues that have, or may have, a financial impact on a company, individuals holding the CFO role that fail to embed sustainability in their corporate communications are missing an opportunity to create strategic, investor-relevant narratives.

Yiong Yim Ming, CFO of the real estate multinational City Developments Limited (CDL) said “The transformation of sustainability for it to evolve from ‘just a responsibility’ to being ‘part of the ethos’ takes time. For CDL, this was made possible when top management started setting the tone, with different departments then brought onboard to translate the senior leaders’ commitment into orchestrated actions.”

Increasing adoption of technology, combined with uncertain, volatile times are reshaping the requirements of a CFO. With the evolving economic landscape, the list of key skills and competencies one must possess continues to develop and so is the search for the next CFO.

Aurex Group can help

If you are a company considering hiring, we welcome the opportunity to present our services and capabilities. If you are a candidate, please check our jobs page or contact us to discuss your background, skills, and future aspirations. We always look forward to staying connected and exchanging ideas, insights, and opinions.​

Mabelene Ang
Associate Director

+65 3165 0710

EA 18S9493 | R1544508