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Training & development > CFOs
With more than 40 years’ accounting
experience under his belt, John Petty
FCA is better than most at recognising
what it takes to lead and succeed as
a CFO. Petty, a trainer in the CFO of
the Future programs at the Institute,
client director at Bentleys and lecturer
at the University of Technology, Sydney
specialises in best practice fnance
teams. His passion for developing high
performance CFOs is driven by seeing
organisations thrive behind the leadership
of an outstanding CFO.
What trends do you see in the
change of the CFO’s role?
The CFO is now the strategic business
partner of the CEO, with the CFO playing
a major role in shaping the direction of
the business going forward. The CFO is
now seen as more than just the trusted
fnancial numbers person and is now deeply
involved in strategy formulation and delivery
on strategy, which also means the CFO is
increasingly getting a seat at the board.
What skills and traits do you most
often see in the top CFOs?
As well as knowing the numbers
backwards, the CFO interprets what is
happening, adding insight, explanations
and developing the potential strategies
and scenarios to move forward.
Like a co-pilot, the CFO is in the cockpit
relying on instruments and gauges and,
more importantly, helps the CEO to chart
the course as events occur. The adoption
of tools such as the rolling quarterly
forecast which manages past the end of
the current fnancial year is very important
in this regard.
The CFO of the future will increasingly
be able to measure and report on non-
fnancial indicators (NFIs) as the real drivers
of corporate success.
What does it take to be a great CFO?
We ask John Petty FCA to share his views.
Story Leila Butcher
The CFO of the Future Workshop
Series and the Intensive Workshops
are two of the Institute’s most
successful and popular training
series. Why do you think these are
so relevant in the current climate?
The CFO Intensive Workshop Series
gives attendees a very focused snapshot
of what CFOs should be doing in the
21st century. It covers the new focus
of CFOs and the 23 new business
management tools to reposition and
re-equip the CFO team.
The full CFO of the Future Series (July
to December) is structured over six
months, at one day a month. This allows
attendees to learn the concepts and see
the practical application and then apply
these in their organisations.
Attendees’ past comments show that
the hands-on, learn-then-implement style
that is used in the program works very
well as a teaching and learning style.
Each workshop uses practical
examples of the introduction and then
implementation of these techniques to
reposition the finance team.
A special CFO of the Future approach
– visioning tomorrow, today – shows
attendees what an award-winning finance
team will look like over the next five years,
As a business coach and mentor,
what advice do you have for future
CFOs and finance directors in
> Develop your skills and thinking to
understand what your CEO is thinking
and how your CEO would want you to be
there at their side, guiding, directing and
> Prove that you can be strategic: that
means think strategy and help report on
the progress towards the strategy of the
business. Aim to implement the IFAC/
CIMA Strategic Scorecard which is the
most important tool in the armoury
of the CFO
> Focus less on detailed and accurate
profit and loss and balance sheets on
a monthly basis and focus more on
forecasting and stretching performance
with quarterly updates based on the
latest predictions of demand and industry
WILL YOU BE THE NEXT GREAT CFO?
Held in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane from July to December in intensive one-day
workshops, the CFO of the Future Workshop Series 2011 is designed to equip both
aspiring and current CFOs with the tools to continually drive growth for their business.
The monthly workshops comprise:
> Leading Edge Finance Team
> The CFO as Corporate Strategist
> Assessing Budgeting and Management Reporting Practices
> Managing through the Measures that Matter
> The CFO as a Strategic Revenue and Cost Manager
> Sustainability and Risk Management Reporting.
For more information visit charteredaccountants.com.au/CFO2011
Like a co-pilot, the CFO is in the cockpit
relying on instruments and gauges and, more
importantly, helps the CEO to chart the course
as events occur
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