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For years, the simple answer was that the CFO leads a company’s finance function. But the role has expanded tremendously. Today’s CFO is a key colleague across businesses and functions, and is the CEO’s strategic partner in maximizing value creation. The CFO helps with shaping portfolio strategies, undertaking major investment and financing decisions, and communicating with key stakeholders—all while leading a multitalented and technologically savvy finance team. Communication is a key part of the role, both with investors and boards. This goes beyond earnings calls: CFOs are responsible for building credibility for the strategic direction of the company.

The CFO and finance team can also model good financial and team-building practices for teams across the entire organization. This can include demonstrating to other teams the linkages among individual, team, and organizational performance.

Another critical aspect of the CFO job is dealing with risk. Managing risks associated with cash, capital, resource deployment, accounting compliance, and strategy remains core to the role even as it expands into nonfinancial realms.