My experiences are from all sizes of companies. It is normally as CFO but depending on the company group it can be named Finance Manager.
My CFO assignments have been in several businesses, for example lift truck service, health care, infrastructure, cards, printing, food, facility service and pharmacy. Regardless of the business industry my speciality is managing a finance department, which also can be seen as a separate business.
Being a CFO is both managing financial operation and be the financial expertise in the management group. The team for financial operations must change over time. I have experience in downsizing, developing and building teams – and sometimes I add interim resources to cut time or increase a specific knowledge. The locations for the teams have been either in one single place or several places, both within the Nordic region or with offices outside the Nordic region.
Many times, the financial services are not defined enough. What are the expectations, what shall be supported to the business in addition to pure accounting and be able to do an annual report? It is important to know when we in finance have done a good job to strengthen our performance and focus on services. The finance department shall be a tool for better business, and when doing that also define where the administrative responsibilities are. All administration is not necessarily Finance responsibility. To achieve sustainable changes even processes, need to change. To me it is important to do the changes that decrease administration and increase an efficient administrative flow.
As a CFO I have done a lot of reporting, which varies a lot between companies. Reporting can be on daily or weekly basis (example: cash and sales), as well as monthly or quarterly basis (example: P&L, margin, EBITDA, balance). If there are no existing reports it is easy to start at some level and just do it. No focus on why not, but instead use excel and create it manually to show that it is doable.
The need for management reporting normally changes over time depending on what focus that is most prioritized at a specific point of time.
In my assignments owners have been PE-companies, listed shares, family owned companies. And Finance shall understand the need for different reports.
I have several times done analyses of pro/con for outsourcing services, both within finance as well as in payroll or other HR services.
Other areas for me as a CFO have been union negotiations, raising capital and treasury.
Depending on the actual situation for the company I been in both stabile companies as well as turn around situations, where other prioritizations will be needed.