1. Map the future, including strategic input. Keep an eye on the outside world, in particular, but not exclusively, around financial issues. Use this to provide top quality input for decision-making.2. Set out the financial philosophy and ethics of the organisation, including whether the organisation is risk averse or risk taking. Are the repercussions that would follow in the event of fraud, or by providing misleading information, clear to all? 3. Have a “vision” for finance, including articulating the best possible service that you and your team can deliver. How is this service organised? 4. Provide a performance framework and benchmarks, including challenging the organisation for superior performance. Communicate the underlying ?touch points? in a digitised world. 5. Set standards, including relationships within the finance department, as well as externally and with the wider organisation. 6. Lead the finance team and invest time in their development. Aim to create a high-calibre team that you can trust and delegate to, thereby freeing up valuable time for you to focus on imperatives.
7. Provide the business with a safety net, ensuring there are no ?black holes?, and be completely on top of cash, funding, working capital management and profit forecasting.Crucially, financial leadership is about helping the CEO, the board and the wider organisation by getting behind the numbers and informing everyone what?s really going on in the business. It?s about transcending normal finance functions to provide more business intelligence, rather than being the historical accumulators of data. I should say that by end of the course, the CEO who posed the question was fully on-board, as were the finance directors in the room. There was a palpable feeling of empowerment. Raj Gandhi is an IoD course leader for ?Role of the Finance Director? and chief executive of GGV London. Prior to GGV, he was the chief financial officer of London Capital Group, global treasury audit manager & business analyst for Royal Dutch Shell, and treasurer of Empire Stores Group.
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