- Creating strong internal relationships between fellow C-suiters as well as other key team members is becoming essential for CFOs to drive growth and development inside of their organizations.
- Building out strong internal relationships inside of an organization has become key for CFOs as their responsibilities and role have continued to shift over the past several years outside a pure numbers position, Valerie Bauer Gore, CFO of post-purchase software provider Loop Returns, said in an interview.
- “There's been over the past decade, a transformation of CFOs being much more than put into a box [of] OK, they're going to report on the numbers…[into being] seen as much more of a partner, operationally and strategically,” she said.
Bauer Gore has served as CFO for Loop, which provides post-purchase software to retailers to ease the returns process on the Shopify eCommerce platform, for a year, according to her LinkedIn.
She previously served as senior director, finance for multi-cloud services provider VMware Carbon Black, and operated in a CFO capacity as VP of finance for advertising firm Constant Contact. Loop raised a $65 million Series B funding round in July 2021, raising its valuation to $340 million, according to a CB Insights report.
For software businesses like Loop where the bulk of their expenses will be surrounding headcount, CFOs having a relationship with the people or human resources team, for example, is critical, Bauer Gore said.
“We need to stay very in tune, particularly in a high growth startup, about how many new people we can hire and when can we hire them,” she said. “Benefits costs are going up, so how do we partner on managing the best benefit packages to retain and recruit the best talent at the same time as managing the bottom line and what we have in regards to cash burn.”
Creating lasting relationships between operations and other teams such as sales and R&D can also help companies to retain customers, therefore freeing up funds to place toward new opportunities or to grow the business.
“We're an annual subscription business, and that retention is so important, because it's so much more expensive to acquire a new customer,” Bauer Gore said. “So the better we can do retaining our existing customers just provides us more money to invest in new customer acquisition and other things like that.”
Healthy communication between the finance and operations team may also prove particularly key: A lack of coordination between these two teams can damage companies’ growth opportunities and potential advantages, a June 21 study by KPMG found. Eighty-five percent of finance and operations leaders want to play a greater role driving enterprise-wide transformation over the next three years, according to the study.
However, less than half of finance and operations decision-makers surveyed stated key processes between their functions were fully connected, while just 38% of executive leaders reporting they were “fully satisfied” with the alignment of key performance indicators (KPIs) between the two teams.