When I speak with potential clients, and even with my current ones, I share what I offer and what they can expect from me and my firm.
As a result, questions arise that the CEO may not have considered before! Questions that help the CEO recognize where the business stands and make better decisions.
In my journey in the business world, I've learned along the way that it's better to give than to receive! So I thought it would be cool (and helpful!)
If I shared a few questions you may want to ask your CFO or financial manager:
1. What from the dashboard (or other reporting frameworks) leaps out at you?
2. What, in your opinion, are our most important key metrics?
3. What are the key drivers to transform the profitability of our business?
4. What changes to our pricing model could improve our sales and profits?
5. Which marketing campaigns have the greatest ROIs over the last 12/24 months?
6. What products and/or services are the most profitable?
7. What are the main reasons for quarterly gross margin & net margin movements over the last 12 months?
8. What are the biggest risks to the business?
9. How can we become more accurate in our cash flow forecasting?
10. What are the best metrics for measuring our profitability and productivity?
These questions present the opportunity to talk about your business health - what worked best in the past and what needs to be addressed first. Recognizing your essential financial data leads to optimizing them according to your business plans and goals.
Understand: the relationship between the CEO and the CFO is critical to the business. Although the CEO makes the final decision, they strategize that decision based on the financial data the CFO provides!
The questions I want to emphasize are knowing which of your products or services are profitable, knowing the possible risks your business faces, and knowing how to hit targets and goals for your cash flow forecasting to be more accurate!
Asking these questions (and more importantly, understanding the responses) can save your business tremendously! To make the most of your relationship with your CFO, you must know the right topics to discuss.
Have you asked your CFO or finance manager these questions? Did you like the response? Are you on the right track?