Remote Control: How Remote CFOs Are Redefining Financial Leadership

Remote Control: How Remote CFOs Are Redefining Financial Leadership

Daniel Hall 13/06/2024
Remote Control: How Remote CFOs Are Redefining Financial Leadership

Since the pandemic, the emergence of the virtual workplace has disrupted how businesses operate.

One of the results of this trend has been the rise of the remote CFO, through whom virtual calls and strategy sessions have replaced the need for C-suite executives to be physically nearby to run a business. 

Remote finance chiefs, particularly those who serve in an outsourced CFO capacity, have altered the perception among businesses of what is required for finance departments to flourish. 

For example, with a remote finance strategy in place, businesses can recruit top talent without the limitations of time and borders that previously restricted the hiring process. Many businesses have learned that procedures are more important than proximity, thanks to technological advancements coupled with nimble executive teams.

Implementing Technology  

To accommodate remote CFOs, the business community has had to embrace the latest tools that technology has to offer. These tools may take the form of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) for data analysis, video conferencing platforms like Zoom or Microsoft Teams, instant messaging apps like Slack, or cloud-based accounting, finance and enterprise resource planning software like NetSuite. By integrating remote-friendly features, businesses ensure that collaboration, productivity and corporate culture will remain intact. 

This tech shift leads to various additional changes, including a need for robust software solutions that support a remote workflow. It also requires a pivot to the cloud, where access to files occurs from any device or location globally. 

As a result, CFOs may need to work closely alongside other leadership members of the team that they otherwise might not have, including a chief investment officer (CIO) and head of IT to ensure that the business is investing sufficiently into technology and cybersecurity to prevent interruptions or breaches of any kind. 

Recruiting Talent 

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A virtual workforce means businesses are no longer limited to the local finance talent pool, benefiting businesses located on the outskirts of major cities or universities where seasoned or emerging talent reside. Instead, financial leadership can be anywhere, and businesses won’t have to compromise on preferred skill sets just to fill a seat. 

Staying Nimble

Remote CFOs are not an island unto themselves and will often have a finance team backing them up. By implementing flexible codes of conduct, a remote CFO is more likely to create cohesive and streamlined processes through which productivity continues. Through proper communication, including scheduled meetings and calls, remote CFOs set the standards and adjust as needed. As a result, the entire finance team will stay up to speed on work completed yesterday and where to focus their efforts today. Finance leaders must also stay open to learning new skills to understand what the needs of a virtual team might be.

Maintaining Work/Life Balance

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Finance chiefs are part of the executive leadership of an organization and, therefore, often do whatever it takes to get the job done, including working long hours. Remote CFOs have the added challenge of maintaining a work/life balance despite the 24/7 nature of a digitized work environment.  

In response, finance leaders have learned to intentionally set boundaries for themselves and team members alike, earmarking time for reflection so that they don’t experience burnout or lose sight of their professional and personal goals. 

To Sum Up

While the pandemic may have been a catalyst for the virtual workforce, including the remote CFO, it’s a trend that appears to be here to stay, redefining the financial leadership landscape. Businesses that prepare for the inevitable virtual workplace will find the transition much smoother while ensuring that the CFO and the rest of the management team won’t skip a beat.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

 
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