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Our expert interviewees say that the role of the CFO has become more complex than in the past. The CFO is being called upon to drive and improve business performance in a demanding business environment. We think it only right that as we start the New Year, we focus on what drives them, what their role is and the challenges they face
—Helen Brand, chief executive, ACCA

To highlight and champion the work of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is running a campaign throughout January 2013

The aim of the campaign is to start 2013 with the spotlight shining on the vital role the CFO will play in the success of their companies as the year progresses. 

Explaining the campaign further, Helen Brand, chief executive of ACCA added: 'January, the beginning of the new year in many countries, is a good time to support the work of CFOs and the central role they play in business strategy. The campaign will also raise awareness of ACCA’s work on issues faced by the CFO, and to bring together a range of research and resources we have produced recently.'

To develop its resources, ACCA has been working with its global strategic partner, IMA, the US-based association of accountants and financial professionals in business, on a range of CFO publications. 

Jeff Thomson CMA, President and CEO of IMA, commented: 'This campaign links seamlessly with our joint work on the world of the CFO. Our latest report showed how the role of the CFO is changing, with CFOs surveyed for the report saying that cost reduction, financial control, and the emerging responsibility of forecasting are the top three priorities for today’s finance leaders.'

This thinking is bolstered by ACCA’s ‘CFO Month’ campaign interviews with Richard Moat, CFO Eircom Group, and Alan Johnson, CFO Jeronimo Martins, who are both members of ACCA’s Accountants for Business Global Forum, a business focussed think tank. For the campaign, both have commented on the main trends shaping the role of the CFO in the future as being:

  • Achieving sustainable growth in competitive markets
  • Ensuring investment decisions are robust, and that a company’s Board is guided well to manage risk 
  • Dealing with regulation and increased scrutiny
  • Communicating better with customers and especially investors 
  • Managing volatility in financial markets and coping with the Euro Crisis
  • Managing competition in the business world, which is increasingly driven by the internet 
  • Surviving the demands of an increasingly globalised business world.

Helen Brand concludes: 'Our expert interviewees say that the role of the CFO has become more complex than in the past. The CFO is being called upon to drive and improve business performance in a demanding business environment. We think it only right that as we start the New Year, we focus on what drives them, what their role is and the challenges they face.'

To support the campaign, ACCA has created two online pages where viewers can browse the range of research and support ACCA has developed for CFOs. These can be viewed via the 'Related Links' section, left of this article.