5 Must-read finance management books for CFOs

Posted by  David McAughtrie

Experience and instinct are no longer sufficient to be an effective CFO. You might ask, "What else is there?" The answer lies within these five recommended books for CFOs, designed to arm you with unfair competitive advantages in your favour.


1. "The New CFO Financial Leadership Manual," by Steven M. Bragg

It takes very different leadership skills to coordinate teams scattered across continents with extremely limited visibility into how resources are being used. This guide introduces updated metrics for monitoring and management in the digital age and the books for CFOs that capture them.


2. "Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently," by Seth Goldman

Mixed with a simple success story of Goldman's Honest Tea business, you will gain insights into how to break down data trapped in traditional management silos and plan projects far down the sales pipeline.


3. "Future Ready: How to Master Business Forecasting," by Steve Morlidge and Steve Player

Real-time data crunching and long-term modeling software are critical tools to master in the competition to win larger, more impactful projects that can boost revenue in a significant way.


4. "Reinventing the CFO: How Financial Managers Can Transform Their Roles and Add Greater Value," by Jeremy Hope

The modern day CFO must move beyond their financial responsibilities to show managers how to improve performance in the business as a whole. This book suggests how CFOs can take the lead in driving up utilization rates for the staff without burning them out.


5. "The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement," by Eliyahu M. Goldratt and Jeff Cox

What's a book on industrial operations doing on this list? Because it's really a deeply allegorical journey into discovering what your true goals should be. Examine from the inside the relationship between cost and profitability, the optimal utilization of key staff, variance tracking and iterative financial forecasting.


What's Changed and What Hasn't In some ways, the primary concerns of the CFO haven't changed all that much. The role is still dominated by budgets, forecasting, metrics and cash flows. What has changed is that survival now depends on how well business financial leaders understand what technological collaboration requires in a digital world. These five books will help lay the foundation for a more thorough understanding of the four roles that a modern CFO must master: the bookkeeper, the forecaster, the communicator, and overall finance extraordinaire. Find out more about how you can better play these roles at cfo.unit4.com.

David McAughtrie

David McAughtrie