CFOs Are Leading Company Culture: Are You Ready?

March 16, 2022 Sarah Dameron

picture depicting company culture in finance company

Company culture has more to do with finance than you might think. Gone are the days when finance leaders could ignore the financial impact of culture on the overall business. And as the role of the modern CFO shifts to a more strategic capacity, it’s vital for leaders to keep culture top of mind in all aspects of decision-making.

According to BambooHR’s The Definitive Guide To Company Culture, 63 percent of people surveyed think company culture is very important or essential for their organization’s success. In fact, a Robert Half Management Resources survey showed that 51 percent of CFOs said they are involved in shaping their firm’s culture. Moreover, Tim Hird, executive director at Robert Half Management Resources, states that “Proper financial reporting and management set a model for the firm’s business, ethics and corporate culture.”

With this in mind, the CFO role can no longer be focused solely on driving finances. Read on below to explore some key areas where forward-thinking CFOs can play a substantial role in influencing company culture as well as how the accounting landscape is progressing at a fast rate.

Top Ways CFOs & Finance Executives Can Shape Company Culture

Actively shaping company culture is an investment with a high return. Your company’s culture is a reflection of what your business stands for; and, as the main contributors of that business, your employees are key to ensuring that it thrives. Here are a few ways that you can build a strong company culture.

Lead by Example and Your Employees Will Follow

It’s easy to align with a culture you would like to have, but it’s another to put it into practice. The saying, ‘Actions speak louder than words’ has never been more true. If your leaders don’t buy into cultural change, don’t expect your employees to follow suit. Cultures that prosper aren’t built overnight - it takes support from leadership and people who believe in the mission.

finance executive helping her employees

Reinforce an Employee-First Mentality to Improve Company Culture in Your Finance Firm

Businesses should realize that if they take care of employees, the rest will fall into place. Putting people at the center of your decision-making will undoubtedly improve your company’s bottom line. Here’s how:

  • Recognize your employees. It’s important that your employees know that their time and efforts are noticed not just by their managers but by the organization as well.

  • Provide feedback and be open to feedback. Feedback is a two-way street that only works when both parties are open to honest change towards both personal and professional development.

  • Make time for one-on-ones. A well-informed leader makes time for their team members in order to address any concerns, answer questions and create a plan of action going forward.

Actively Build and Nurture Great Teams

Employee experience is greatly affected by day-to-day interactions and relationships. When you bring someone new onto the team, you want that person to be a valuable member within your company. A SHRM report found that the result of poor culture fit due to turnover can cost an organization between 50-60 percent of the person’s annual salary. In fact, your company’s culture doesn’t just help to attract new talent, it helps to keep your current talent satisfied and working for you rather than jumping ship.

Read More: Embracing The Future Of Work: Reimagining Company Culture As A Virtual Employer

The Modern Finance Workplace Is Evolving at a Rapid Pace - What Does a Positive Company Culture Look Like

The demands placed upon financial leaders are fast-changing. Traditionally, CFOs would provide necessary support to the rest of the executive team. They would crunch numbers, analyze data, then report back to stakeholders. However, with recent shifts in the world’s workforce and the need to invest in new technologies and innovations, CFOs are able to take on a much more strategic and operational role.

positive company culture in finance company

For the past year and a half, many accounting professionals have been anxiously awaiting a safe return to the office. And for many CFOs, that means preparing for the following:

  • Addressing immediate issues

    • Optimizing finances

    • Keeping lines of communication open

  • Preparing for the near-term

    • Improving productivity amongst employees

    • Forecasting and budgeting

  • Preparing for the future

    • Reworking current policies and procedures

    • Plan for future crises

Suggested Reading: Accounting Industry Outlook: How To Navigate Finance Post-Covid

Financial Executives Can Turn The Tide With Outsourcing

The CFO has touchpoints across every function in an organization, giving them unique insight into each department. Given their need to be a part of every aspect of the business, it’s imperative that they have discernment when it comes to culture. Moreover, a CFO’s skills can be useful for determining the talent needs of the company. As the pandemic presses on, leaders should continue to safeguard their business while seeking out new opportunities to make their finance and accounting departments more efficient. CFOs can kickstart this process by turning to outsourcing to fulfill their hiring wish-list.

Having trouble building a finance company culture that thrives in this day and age? Maybe you just need a push in the right direction. Contact us to find out how we can help you create an attractive company culture that not only entices top talent but retains current employees.

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