25 Quotes from Guide to CFO Success

A number of my followers are excited about the release of my upcoming book, Guide to CFO Success: Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionals in the United States and Canada on March 31, 2014. (Available in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2014)

While you may have to wait a little longer to get your copy of the book, I extracted quotes from the book I thought might wet your appetite.

If you find you find these quotes relevant and interesting, you can let others know about the book by:

    • Sharing the Slideshare presentation on social media
    • Sharing your favorite quote on social media
    • Recommending the book to someone who would appreciate reading it.

Stay tuned for further updates, including speaking engagements and book signings.

Thank you for your continued support,

Samuel

CFOs, Are You Doing Your Job?

As an executive search professional that focuses on the office of the CFO, I am involved with the hiring of Chief Financial Officers for companies. Unless I am working to help a company hire their first CFO, the mandate I have is to replace a current CFO or a Chief Financial Officer that has left.

While only having the time to work on a handful of CFO searches at a time, you may know that I track CFO movement on my CFO Moves Blog. When I combine my personal direct involvement with helping companies hire their Chief Financial Officer with my tracking of hiring and unhiring of CFOs across the US, Canada and the UK, I see many CFO getting replaced.

You can understand that this a topic that interests me. And if you are reading this, the topic probably interests you as well.

I came across a very interesting academic working paper, CFO Succession and Corporate Financial Practices, authored by Ellen Engel, Feng Gao and Xue Wang, that was published in October 2013. This paper looks at reasons and financial reporting consequences of CFO successions. The document is a properly researched academic paper, and makes for an interesting read if you are academically inclined.

Here is the Abstract of the document which summarizes the findings of the research:

We examine the determinants and financial performance consequences of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) successions. We argue that if internal monitoring mechanisms are effective, there should be a greater probability of forced CFO departures in firms with poor financial reporting and capital management performance, and resulting improvements in financial practices following forced turnovers. We test these hypotheses over the period 2002 to 2008. We find that

(1) the incidences of accounting restatements and debt covenant violations are significantly associated with the probability of forced CFO turnovers;

(2) firms are more likely to hire successor CFOs from outside the firm following accounting restatements, especially those due to irregularities;

(3) the hiring of outside CFOs is associated with improved financial reporting quality.

Further, these findings are concentrated in firms with majority independent boards, suggesting that outside directors play a greater role in monitoring CFOs than inside board members.

These findings are not surprising.

When CFOs don’t do their job, they get fired and replaced.

As CFO, are you doing your job?

Samuel’s 2013 Recap + Top Ten Blogs of 2013

2013 was an interesting year for the Chief Financial Officer. I find it fascinating that the office of the CFO continues to receive more attention from the general business press, vendors trying to make inroads in to the C-suite, and from CFOs themselves that are turning to social media to get feedback on issues where they used to feel lonely. I believe that 2014 will continue on these trends, and I have a feeling that there will be a major trend change in 2014 for CFOs (Stay tuned).

2013 was a very interesting year for me. The highlight of my year was putting together my upcoming book, Guide to CFO Success. It was truly a yearlong process. I started putting the proposal together at the beginning of the year, which led to getting my book deal signed with Wiley. I then created and developed my CFO Advisory Group for my book. These 87 CFOs answered a weekly survey over 14 weeks and gave me (and you) input and anecdotes to support CFO success. I found the writing of the book one of the most challenging professional projects I have ever faced, and can say (after the fact) that it was an amazing personal growth experience. As December and 2013 wraps up, the book is in final production.

Click here to get your own holiday card from Samuel!

With Guide to CFO Success taking up a big portion of my time, I was not able to write as many new blog posts in 2013. Many of my top blogs viewed this year were written in previous years. The power of Google drives people who are interested in these topics. The topics and information in some of these popular blogs have been further developed in my upcoming book because of the interest in these CFO subjects. Stay tuned for new blog postings in 2014.

2013 was a very busy year for CFO Moves, my weekly blog covering CFO hires and unhires in the USA, Canada and the UK. I continue to be impressed by the feedback I get from the people following these blogs, and am grateful that people appreciate the work that goes in to preparing them every week.

2014 looks to be shaping up to be a wonderful year for me and my CFOs. The book will be coming out in March. I am scheduled to present at the AICPA CFO Conference in May. I had some very interesting end of year conversations relating to my upcoming book, and as these things develop, I will certainly keep you in the loop.

Wishing you and your family the very best for the holidays, and a prosperous and successful 2014!

Samuel’s Top 10 Blog of 2013

10) Podcast: Becoming a world-class CFO and Finance team: What it takes, why now, and who’s made it?

9) Why do CFOs Leave?

8) 5 Most Popular Names for CFOs (2013 Edition)

7) Road Map to Successful CFO Relationships

6) Different companies need different CFOs

5) Negotiating your CFO Employment Contract

4) CFOs: When interviewing for your next role, make sure you have one of these

3) Presentation Links: The Road to CFO

2) CFOs: Do you want to become a Controller? This CFO did just that.

1) The First 90 Days of a New CFO

If you’d like to see previous year’s top blogs, click here and here.

Do you have any topics that you would like addressed in 2014? Let me know by sending me a message on LinkedIn or commenting below!

Samuel

CFOs: It’s not just about Finance anymore

The Shifting Role of Chief Financial OfficersWhat value does the Chief Financial Officer bring to the company they work for? According to recent research by American Express, CFOs around the globe believe they are:

    • Seeing an increase in influence at their companies, and
    • Have more input than ever on improving their company’s ability to deliver value to customer.

CFOs also believe that they need to improve their skills in many areas, including some that are not thought of as “finance skills” such as:

    • Strategic thinking
    • Internal alliance builder
    • Conflict resolution
    • Global business acumen, and
    • Logistics acumen

It is nice to see that CFOs are more positive and upbeat on the value that they bring to their companies. I am a big believer in the value that a CFO can bring to the company they work for. I am also a big supporter for CFOs developing themselves further to meet the real needs of the people they work for.

The question I have is this: Are CFOs really adding value in their environment over and above what is expected in Finance? Maybe. The actual reality is not the perception that CFOs have of themselves, it is the perception that the people that CFOs report to that is most important.

Perception is reality. The perception of the people that CFOs work for is the reality that really matters.

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(Note to readers: I apologize for my absence on this blog for the past months. While my CFO Moves blog has been delivering every Monday morning like clockwork, I have been spending a significant amount of time recently on my upcoming book, Guide to CFO Success: Leadership Strategies for Corporate Financial Professionals. I am now in the production process with my publisher, John Wiley & Sons, and I’m looking forward to your feedback when the book is released in March 2014. Hopefully I will get to meet you in person as I speak at conferences and events in 2014. If you’d like to have me discuss my book at your local CFO event, ask the organizers to reach out to me to see if I’m available.)

CFOs: IPOs are coming back. Are you ready?

Initial Public Offerings were hot commodities in the early and mid oh-oh’s. Most finance leadership reading this blog remember those days well, and some of you did very well financially because of it.

The recession that occurred towards the end of the last decade put a stop to that IPO train. Companies needing capital for growth had to look elsewhere, and many companies were unable to succeed because this driver of growth dried up.IPO (Initial Public Offering)

For the past few months I have been hearing the rumble of the oncoming IPO train. A number of CFOs I have spoken with in the past months have shared with me that they are being given the strategic responsibility to be ready for when the IPO market comes back. There is a feeling of cautious optimism that this catalyst for economic growth will soon be back.

How can a CFO prepare for the talent challenges to come?

One of the biggest challenges that an uptick in the IPO market will face is that there is a small pool of talented mid-level professionals with relevant and recent IPO experience. The amount of work needed to be IPO ready is significant. When the IPO dam breaks, many companies will be rushing to get their IPO done. If the talent challenges are not planned properly, companies will have to be more reliant on expensive external resources (think audit and law firm rates). Companies who properly plan for their talent needs in advance will be able to go public earlier, which could be very beneficial as well.

Another significant challenge to companies that are currently private is that the cost of being public is expensive. A CFO needs to ensure that they have the leadership and professionals on staff that can deliver the quantity and quality of timely and correct information necessary to be considered a well-run public company. CFOs bear the burden when their finance team is not able to deliver accordingly.

CFOs who have been mandated to prepare for an upcoming IPO by their board need to have a talent plan to ensure they can meet their needs for going public and staying public. This plan for talent acquisition, development and retention is necessary to balance the costs of going public and staying public.

This talent planning business will not be easy. But those that start planning now will be at an advantage.

CFOs, get ready. You could be in for a very bumpy ride on the IPO Express.

5 Most Popular Names for CFOs (2013 Edition)

You may be aware of a blog that I put out weekly called CFO Moves. This blog is the most comprehensive report of CFO Movement across the United States. (We also have CFO Moves Canada and CFO Moves UK). In the past year, CFO Moves announced over 1,000 new CFOs that were hired, not counting those that resigned or were promoted beyond the CFO chair.

Last July we issued our very popular blog with the most popular names of CFOs hired, and this year we decided to do the same. (You can check out our 2012 edition here).

So, if your company hired a new CFO in the past 12 months, there is a good chance your CFO may have on of the following first names.

Men

    1. Michael / Mike
    2. John / Jonathan
    3. David / Dave
    4. James / Jim
    5. Steve / Steven / Stephen

Women

    1. Catherine / Katherine
    2. Susan
    3. Patricia
    4. Jennifer
    5. Christine / Christina

There was only one change in the top 5 for men (Jim replaced Mark) since last year, but for the women, the only one of 2012’s top CFO names that stayed in the top 5 was Christine.

VIDEO: Webinar Presentation – CFO Succession: The Right Way to Grow your Company’s next CFO

On May 23, 2013 I presented this Webinar on Proformative.

To get more information on this presentation, please view this blog.

Links referred to in this presentation:

If you have any questions on CFO Succession, please complete the form below and I will be pleased to get back to you.

CFOs: When interviewing for your next role, make sure you have one of these

Yes, having a resume is important. So is a LinkedIn profile. I’ve blogged previously about whether a CFO needs a resume, or a LinkedIn Profile is enough.

But this is not what I’m recommending today.

I recently spoke with a CFO who is in process of interviewing for his next Chief Financial Officer role, and he was asked if he had Video of his presentations.

Yes, the CEO wanted to know how good a presenter he was, and wanted to see him in action.

Do you have videos of presentations you’ve made as CFO?

    • If you don’t, I recommend arranging to get your next presentations recorded.
    • If you do have video, and you think you could do a better job at presenting, consider getting presentation coaching.

Your next CFO role might depend on it.

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I’m not ignoring you

Followers of my blog will have noticed that I am not posting as often as I have in the past. My personal goal for creating content on my blog was to have one post up each week.

My book has been taking me away from you. “Guide to CFO Success”, to be published by Wiley & Sons in 2014, is taking a lot of my time. I delivered my first chapter to the publisher on Monday. I must say that writing a book is very different than writing a blog.

The goal of putting my book together is to take a lot of the thoughts that I have been developing on what it take to become (and remain) a successful CFO. Readers of my blog will be familiar with some of the themes mentioned in the book. The book however will stand on its own, and provide strategies to current and future CFOs for getting the best out of their career and delivering their best to their employer.

I’d like to thank the support of my CFO Advisory Group for the feedback they are giving me as I prepare my book. These Advisors have been giving of their time every week for the past 2 months and have committed to do so for the next couple of months via weekly surveys. When I was interviewed on DriveThruHR in March, I was asked at the end of the interview to let the listeners know who has inspired me the most recently. My CFO Advisors have inspired me, and continue to do so, as I put the effort in to write Guide to CFO Success.

I would also like to thank the CFOs that have agreed to be interviewed for my upcoming book. These high profile CFOs set aside a good portion of their busy schedule for me, and for you as well. Their insights and support and greatly appreciated.

I just wanted to tell you that I’m not ignoring you. I’m working to deliver content in another form, which hopefully you will find of value to you as well.

I’m not giving up on this blog either. I am aiming to continue to provide “Insights into the Mind of the CFO” in the coming months.

I am also continuing to publish CFO Moves, which is tracks CFO Movement across the USA every week. If you’ve never read CFO Moves before, you might want to join the 600 weekly subscribers that get CFO Moves delivered to their email inbox every Monday morning.

I’d like to end off with a special message to the person from a certain city in Asia that regularly visits my blog by searching Google for the keywords “CFO Success”: I would be happy to answer your questions about CFO Success directly – please email me.

Listen to: Samuel Dergel at Lunch with DriveThruHR, March 14, 2013

Listen in to my Interview with Bryan Wempen on DriveThruHR from earlier today.

Please feel free to share your comments, input and questions…

Thank you to Bryan and William Tincup for inviting me!
You can listen to the show in the player below or in iTunes.

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