The public-sector CFO of today looks very different to the CFO of yesterday.

Gone are the days of being regarded as merely ‘bean counters’. Digital transformation and the evolution of sophisticated technology has propelled the finance team into the world of strategy. Mundane tasks have been automated and the expectation is that they are now able to focus on forward thinking strategic initiatives.

Naturally, there will always be an element of fiduciary responsibility, but today’s CFOs increasingly need to act as ‘campaigners’ – proactively suggesting and championing improvements and efficiencies.

If this step-change wasn’t enough, CFOs are having to adapt to this brave new world at the same time as having to deal with the reality of tightened budgets and the directive to ‘do more with less’.

It’s little wonder that some organisations and their CFOs are struggling. These new demands often require different capabilities and different structures – and it can be hard to realign teams whilst continuing to perform business as usual.

This is where Callida often steps-in. Helping public-sector organisations navigate these CFO challenges is a core competency of Callida and we have extensive experience in strategic and operational transformation.

We were recently engaged by a Government entity to grow the capabilities of the CFO Branch following the resignation of their CFO. As well as assisting with a short-term management vacuum, there were also a number of longer-term capability and relationship issues that needed to be addressed; as well as some immediate budget problems to solve.

As with all of our engagements, we brought intellectual rigour and creative thinking, combined with a pragmatic and collaborative approach to the project.

Our team developed a trusted rapport with the departmental team to quickly establish the current financial position, and then quickly prioritised the ways to remediate the budget deficit the department was facing.

Alongside the immediate triage required, we made sure we worked hand in hand with the department staff to develop a timeline of planning and action. We know how important it is to ensure our clients feel involved and comfortable with the processes developed – after all they will be the ones responsible for taking the work forward.

Callida’s work resulted in a new and effective departmental organisational structure that was better able to support both the Secretary and the Department.

Most importantly, we were able to create lasting building blocks for further growth –  supporting the recruitment and capabilities required to ensure the long-term success of the Department.

Callida has the expertise to support CFO’s and organisations to transform their finance functions and strategies. Contact Callida to find out more about how we can help your business.

The changing face of the public-sector CFO is the second out of two articles on the modern day CFO.  

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