From ‘Bean Counters’ to Value Hunters, CFOs Migrate From Historical Roots

For today’s chief financial officer (CFO), every day is different. There’s always a new challenge — and new discussions to have about the impact every part of the organization has on the bottom line. 

Through it all, CFOs are looking at where they can drive value to the organization, Manny Korakis, CFO at Presidio, told PYMNTS. 

“When I think about building a world-class organization, that’s what I think about — ‘What do I tackle on a day-to-day basis?’ What can I get involved in and what can I do to help drive value for the organization as a whole?’”  

Data Holds the Key 

Korakis joined Presidio, a global digital services and solutions provider, in August with a background that includes experience at global multibillion-dollar companies. 

Interviewed for the PYMNTS series “A Day in the Life of a Digital-First CFO,” Korakis said his “guiding light” as CFO is to have good information at the right time so that both he and the people he partners with can make decisions. 

A top challenge to making that happen in any organization is master data management — making data taxonomies line up and implementing good processes and controls over master data management to drive efficient reporting. 

See also: CFOs Face Challenges, Benefits When Managing Order Backlogs

“Traditionally, I think, that’s been a topic that [information technology] has really delved into, and it’s becoming a lot more important in the finance organization,” Korakis said. “If you want to build things like data lakes and some interactive reporting, having the data line up becomes crucial.” 

Optimizing Lead-to-Cash Generation 

Another area of focus for CFOs is lead-to-cash generation. Reconciling how different sales teams define leads and input them into their customer relationship management systems, reconciling that information with what’s on hand in other business software and then billing customers is a challenge in and of itself. 

“That’s why this is one that I’m highlighting as an important one: It’s customer-facing,” Korakis said. “You don’t want to run into customer challenges when you start to bill somebody.” 

The aim here, he said, is to get bills to customers in a way that keeps customers happy while also maximizing the organization’s working capital. 

Recruiting, Retaining Talent 

A common challenge across industries and organizations is the recruitment and retention of talent. These can be an issue in any organization, particularly those with hybrid or remote workforces. 

“So, I think the recruiting effort has to change — and it has changed, frankly — to address some of those,” Korakis said. 

Recruiters must determine what’s important to the candidates, whether employees will be forced to come into an office and how to entice people to come to an organization. 

Supporting Business, Commercial Activities 

In these and other areas, organizations must hold themselves accountable in terms of whether they’ve lived up to the business case, earned the benefits they expected and didn’t exceed the costs they projected. 

“I look at every day as an opportunity to find efficiencies for the company, help drive value and manage our working capital,” Korakis said. “How do I pull all that together on any given day while supporting the business and our commercial activities — that’s, to me, always front and center.” 

See also: Digital Disruptors Need CFOs Who Can Build Teams and Infrastructure


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