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What percentage of your time is spent externally and what percent internally

Since the CFO is often dealing with banks and the investment community, I wonder what percentage of time is typically devoted to these activities, versus time spent in the office working with finance executive staff, for example.

Answers

EMERSON GALFO
Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

Arlyne, it is in spurts (sometimes a whole week outside) and depending again on the need of the company. I would say on the average, it is about 5-10 percent. But what striked me most is when you said "versus time spent in the office working with finance exec staff." The past few years, I have made it a goal to spend at least a few hours a week outside the "finance staff bubble". Warehouse, spending time with sales people, etc. There was even a time when I accompanied a salesperson on a client visit. First hand information about what is really happening in your company outside the reports that you see everyday are just.....invaluable.

ArLyne Diamond
Title: Owner - President
Company: Diamond Associates
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner - President, Diamond Associates) |

I am pleased to learn that you are reaching across divisions/departments. This additional knowledge and experience is so important for a senior executive, and not enough people do what you do. Thanks for answering me.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

I agree with Emerson. My peak times are generally around benefit and insurance renewal times. We always shop carriers and it can tax my time tremendously. The information they require to prepare a quote seems to be much more than it used to be. I love the idea of getting out into the field. I wish I could allocate more time to doing that; however time is of the essence and I haven't allotted enough margin in my week for that yet.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

The typical formula if there is one is this: The CFO looks externally while the controller looks internally. A back to back arrangement. You dimension this by what your strategic goals are for next cycle. If you are planning to grow 100M in revenue in 2 years then the CFO will be the best advocate and driver to get the business funded and work with the CEO and operations people to get everyone driving in the same direction. If the CFO is focused on staff issues, strategy needs correction because the value of the CFO is not in the accounting department.

ArLyne Diamond
Title: Owner - President
Company: Diamond Associates
LinkedIn Profile
(Owner - President, Diamond Associates) |

Thanks o much or sharing your answer with me - I think you are correct that ideally this
should be the arrangement. Unfortunately, I've found great variance including CFOs who micro-manage the accounting department, and CEOs who believe that accounting is what a CFO does - and so hires people who should not have risen higher than the rank of controller.

I am still curious to learn from others what their experience is in this ratio.

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