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You Just Got Promoted to CFO - Now What?

New CFOs have to be ready to take the reins.

After becoming CFO, finance leaders usually don't have the time to get comfortable in their new roles; they have to take the reins and quickly make their mark on the organization. According to a report from audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG, the first 100 days after a new CFO is appointed are extremely important and will most likely set a precedent for the direction of the company. Here are some of the others issues finance leaders may encounter when they are transitioning into their new role:

Are You Comfortable with the Entire Business Model?
Whether CFOs are promoted from the finance team or hired from the outside, they have to understand that their role will include strategic planning sessions with other members of the C-suite. To become respected within the organization, CFOs must form strong bonds with the people who matter throughout the company, as well as understand the issues they will face during their tenure, a report from Deloitte stated. Becoming more comfortable with the business will allow finance leaders to get a better feel for the direction of the organization and adjust their managing strategy for the greater good of the company.

Do You Have a Plan?
When taking the reins as CFO, it's important to assess the past and the future of the business. Understanding the troubles faced by the organization could allow new finance leaders to get a grip on how they need to alter their future plans. According to a blog post from Samuel Dergel, executive search consultant with Stanton Chase, CFOs must come up with a plan that will help them meet the expectations of the CEO and other members of the C-suite. This can be made easier by forming a finance team that is properly aligned with those goals. It's important to have a set plan for success during the first three months after becoming CFO.

What Types of Professionals Do You Want to Hire?
Many CFOs will step into the position where they have to manage former colleagues who were once their peers. Much like new management of a sports organization, leaders may be willing to test out the old staff and see if the current structure is sufficient, but they also want to get their own people on their staff.

CFOs have to learn how to evaluate talent in a whole new way, as the right professionals could be the "secret sauce" that provides finance teams with the foundation they need to achieve the goals set out by the organization. The Deloitte report said CFOs have to act quickly when building their team, as waiting too long could get the company off on the wrong foot when under new leadership.

Can You Actually Be the Reason for Change?
New finance leaders are often appointed because the business was stagnant or beginning to suffer, and after the first 100 to 200 days in charge, they have to be ready to shake up the organization. This is where it becomes imperative to know how to lead a finance team. While it depends on the size of the business, CFOs will often do very little work by themselves. Their ability to manage their team and work with the other members of the C-suite will be major factors in how the organization will change.

Finance leaders also need to learn how to delegate their time for all of their different responsibilities. One CFO who talked to Deloitte during the making of their report said new finance leaders are now partners to the CEO. As such, they have to be careful about how they allocate their time interacting with all members of the company.