CFOs are often thought of as backward looking and internally focused. If that is their sole focus, they are failing. By the time an event hits the P&L or balance sheet it is too late to do anything about it. CFOs need to understand what is happening upstream in the marketplace, in sales and marketing and in operations and make decisions at the front end that can positively impact financial outcomes
. When the CFO is explaining the numbers, it's not just about explaining the accounting but also what is happening in the marketplace and in the business. Is productivity improving? Are customers delighted with or products and services? Are investments in quality translating into postive outvomes? Successful CFOs have a lens into all elements of what drives performance. They can predict the financial outcomes based upon their deep understanding of the actions being taken and serve as a vital participant in executive decision-making. Never has the need been greater for CFOs to consistently be ahead of the numbers.