What Does a CFO Do? Pt. 5, IT Development and Management

What Does a CFO Do?  IT Development and ManagementIn our continuing series detailing the duties of  a CFO, today we discuss the CFO’s role as it relates to information technology (IT) development and management.

If you’ve worked in an organization with an experienced CFO, you likely already know that the CFO typically holds responsibility for the IT function.  In some larger corporations, a CTO might hold equal rank with the CFO.  But this is rare in small to middle market businesses, where the CFO is almost always the head of IT development and management.  This is the role we will look at.

In these companies, the CFO is ultimately responsible for the maintenance and upgrade of the company’s computer and network infrastructure.  Obviously the CFO is not personally installing servers and desktops, but they are charged with putting a structure in place to achieve these business basics with efficiency, security, and performance.  The CFO must insure that IT partners and staff have the chops to meet the organization’s goals.

Outside of hardware, the CFO is responsible for the development of IT systems to increase business and process efficiency.  This can touch every area of the organization, providing long-term cost savings and value.  It can include custom systems development, implementing new software, or a combination/hybrid of the two.  The CFO must assess the options available to meet the needs of the business, choosing the method with the best ROI that also aligns with the company’s capital budget.

Another area that has increasingly come under the umbrella of the CFO is web and internet properties including website, blogs, social media presence.  As more metrics are available to measure ROI for these investments, it has become a natural extension for the CFO to be a part of the decision making team as it relates to these properties.  Furthermore, CFO’s have become increasingly involved in the oversight of web advertising ROI including pay-per-click.  In small and middle market companies, the CFO is often relied on to assist in the management of these investments, and monitoring them against budget.

Last but not least, CFO’s are called upon to see to the integration of ecommerce platforms into traditional business models.  With the tremendous growth of ecommerce, even in the B2B space, companies can not afford to miss out on this channel.  Having ecommerce capabilities not only opens up new markets, it also provides added value for existing customers.

Stay tuned for Part 6 next time, as we discuss the CFO’s role in “Strategic and Financial Planning.”

If you missed the previous posts, here they are:

About Gateway CFO Solutions, LLC:

Based in St. Louis, Gateway CFO Solutions helps small businesses grow profits and revenues, and bring peace of mind to their company’s financial picture through part-time CFO services.  Many small business owners are without a trusted advisor for the financial side of their business, and they have seemingly few resources to turn to for expert guidance.  We provide that guidance and act as a trusted, strategic advisor for our clients.  We provide both broad, global planning and “roll up the sleeves” technical services.

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