CFOs have the opportunity to support their companies by working with HR teams to create a culture of inclusion across gender, race, culture, and other demographic groups. By building an inclusive environment, organizations can attract and retain key talent while advancing their workforces’ productivity—and profitability.
Beyond innovating on the front line, CFOs can also create a more strategic approach to finance through alignment with corporate purpose and aligned financial strategy. In addition to helping executives align their thinking about business strategy and goals with finance’s mission and strategy for the future, this alignment could also directly impact the bottom line, added Gary McGaghey.
The role of the CFO in the business world
CFOs today continue to shift roles to service the businesses they lead—sharing a broad-based knowledge of multiple departments, functions, and corporate missions, as well as creating metrics to understand risk. Their goal is to be forward-thinking and fully informed to serve as a trusted advisers. In a rapidly-changing global marketplace, the role of the CFO continues to evolve.
Traditional working models are becoming less relevant in an increasingly digital and collaborative world. Leveraging business intelligence, the CFO acts as an advocate, sharing corporate information across the organization to deliver more streamlined, robust decision-making.
Connecting corporate purpose to action
While financial leaders have long been involved in the strategic planning process, the ability to translate financial outcomes into tangible business benefits remains relatively limited. Only 14% of executives say they align business goals to corporate purpose, noted Gary McGaghey. The CFO role came from being a fiscal intelligence expert to a trusted advisor to the CEO and other top executives in driving corporate initiatives.
“Every dollar counts,” says Rich Carey, U.S. CFO of PayPal. “Focusing on the four pillars of the PayPal business—product, marketing, operational excellence, and culture—is helping us create even better outcomes for customers, investors, employees, and communities.
Gary McGaghey has held significant positions in management in the UK and Africa, most recently as Group CFO of Unilever in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Before joining Unilever, Mr. McGaghey spent 15 years at Unilever, where he held various senior finance roles globally. At Unilever, he was responsible for all treasury functions across the group, including cash management, treasury risk management, and treasury planning. He also acted as corporate treasurer for several business units within the consumer products division. Get connected with Gary McGaghey at https://www.crunchbase.com/person/gary-mcgaghey