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As Recovery Proceeds, CFO Roles Evolve

CFOs have been under substantial pressure in recent years.

While the U.S. economy is far from recovered, there have been signs of more robust growth later this year. A recent panel of Bloomberg economists projected GDP will near 3 percent, spurred largely by heightened consumer activity.

But as conditions improve, it's likely that finance executives will be credited with handling their company's finances through the worst economic downturn in several decades. Aside from harnessing budgets and fiscal discipline, CFOs have been - and will continue to be - responsible for securing credit, raising capital and rejuvenating their company's financial growth.

"You name it," Mike Kesner, principal of human capital advisory services at Deloitte Consulting, told Business Finance magazine. "The CFO is the position that's charged with leading a lot of those activities. In downturns, they're worth their weight in gold. In an upturn, they're going to help the CEO capitalize on the opportunities that are out there. The role is very valuable."

And businesses have been responding to CFOs' efforts accordingly. According to a recent study by Compensation Advisory Partners, CFO salaries increased by 3.5 percent from 2009 to 2010.

Even as the economy recovers, the role of the CFO is expected to evolve, providing the critical financial perspective to corporate strategy in the C-suite.

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