What are a CFO’s best tools?

Oliver Hutaff / November, 2017


Oliver Hutaff, CFO/COO at Electric Imp explains what are a CFO’s best tools and how to bring credibility to your work.

Video Transcript

What are a CFO’s best tools?

CFO’s best tools are data and credibility. The best CFO that I ever worked for gave me three guidelines for running any portion of a finance in an organization. The first one of those was facts are your friends, and so the ability to come from a position of fact where you know what the numbers are, you know what the facts are. That tends to take a lot of emotion out of an equation when you’re trying to debate something and decided a particular decision to make inside a company.

You always have to come from a position of knowing what the facts are and not arguing in emotion. I think the companies that I have worked for, look for the CFO to bring a sort of an independent and neutral view of what is the date of say, what are the facts and then let’s have a discussion about what the right thing to do is. I think facts are certainly the best one, you’ve got to be able to have systems that are reliable that people trust in and there has to be visibility on how you’ve derived to those numbers.

The ability for you to also have an infrastructure that people are comfortable with, that you’re not just coming up with a number that people don’t understand, what it is or how you got there. They understand the methodology and the process that you’ve gone through to put those numbers together. I think the other thing that you have to do is that you have to have the respect to the team.

You have to also know if I’m beating up on my sales guy because he’s behind in his quota this month, he’s got to know that I understand the problems that he’s challenging. If he knows that, then I’m credible, if not I’m just being a pusher. Part of that is just you’ve got to be out on the field and you have to have the relationships with the people that you’re going to have to influence their behavior as well.



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