It is the responsibility of a Chief executive Officer (CEO) of any company to ensure that the future of the company is successful if not more successful than it currently is. Although the responsibility for this lies with the CEO, the CEO will often rely on their Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for advice. It is therefore in the CEOs best interest and ultimately the company’s best interests that the CFO is experienced in not just accounting but also has good knowledge of the business the company is involved in. It is for this reason that Scholastic, a large publishing corporation that specializes in educational and children’s books, hired in 2007 Maureen O’Connell as their CFO. You can more about O’Connell online but basically she is a well accomplished accountant that has a history of working with publishing companies.
In fact her resume is probably second to none when looked at as a potential candidate for CFO with a publishing company as she has been CFO for Barnes and Noble and also for the Publishers Clearing House, both very famous and prestigious companies in the publishing world. With this combination of great accountancy and a wide knowledge of the publishing business, O’Connell is ideally suited to assist the company’s CEO in matters pertaining to the future. Her ability to spot ups in the financial records and be able to associate those ups to specific actions the company took, means that the CEO may be able to create similar profitable situations in the future. Also the ability to notice dips in the financial records and also associate those to actions the company nay have taken will assist the CEO in avoiding similar occurrences.
There are many accountants today that although would like to aspire to the position of CFO, do not realize all the responsibilities that go with that post, some of which may actually have little to do with actual accounting and more to do with the business the company is in. Also, where accounting is usually mainly concerned with keeping financial records of the present and maintaining records of past financial transactions, the task of a CFO is more often concerned with future potential finances. This is a point that O’Connell often points out and says that the position of CFO is certainly more about the future than it is in either the present or past. On more than one occasion she has actually said that CFO should mean Chief Futures Officer and not Chief Financial Officer. There is little doubt therefore that a good CFO can make a difference as to whether a company succeeds in the future or fails to be as profitable. It is also therefore small wonder that companies and corporation hold their CFOs in high esteem and like in the case of O’Connell, also award them other positions of status such as Executive Vice President and in Maureen’s case also Chief Administration Officer (CAO). This is a practice that will certainly increase as competition in business grows.