Mike Smiley, Chief Financial Officer at Zebra Technologies, explained how a chief financial officer can add value to his or her organization during his presentation at the 2013 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum in Chicago on Nov. 6. In his presentation, "The Value Added CFO – Being More," Smiley noted that CFOs can use a wide variety of data to become more productive and efficient.
Smiley said that operating and business experience frequently helps CFOs. Because a CFO often manages many different tasks, Smiley said a CFO should regularly think about how he or she can provide additional support within an organization: "As you think about your role as a CFO, you need to be thinking about what is your organization that you and your peers have, what are their responsibilities and strengths, which help you understand what your opportunities are."
In addition, Smiley stated that CFOs should try to gather feedback and incorporate it into their everyday operations. The role of CFO is constantly evolving, Smiley said, and a CFO who searches for ways to improve can help his or her organization succeed. According to Smiley, a CFO should also be flexible, as this allows him or her to gain valuable experience: "I think the other thing is that as a CFO, you cannot know all that you need to know. You’ll come into that role with certain experience. You won’t come into that role with all the experience that a CFO requires. It’s important to have people who can really do those responsibilities and help you understand what the challenges are, so you can help them overcome them."