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6 Reasons You Know Your Dad Is A CFO

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A CFO wears many hats, thinking strategically about investments, and working closely with every department of the company. However some CFO dads continue working like that after hours.Here are 6 reasons how you can spot a CFO dad:

He Creates a Family Mission Statement

Each family needs to understand what the family finances is all about so the first thing every CFO dad does is to create a formal mission statement. (Framed and proudly exhibited above the fireplace, next to the family crest, because having a shield with a unicorn doing something questionable to a goat on display is not embarrassing enough.) This might seem awkward, but writing down the goals and dreams of the family is one of the most powerful steps you can take. You identify and write down what your goals and objectives are and when you would want to achieve those goals.

He Knows About ALL Expenses Within the Family.

A CFO knows his company expenses inside and out using certain methods, so why would he treat family expenses any different? He reviews all credit card statements for the last three months and he studies how and where money was spent. Not even Junior’s piggybank is spared from an internal audit by dad.

He Needs To Have a Clear Understanding of Why the Expense You are Presenting Him Costs What it Does.

A good example to explain this, is when his little princess is getting married. When the father of the bride (who happens to be a CFO in the real world) is paying for the event, he essentially becomes the wedding’s CFO as well. They are more than willing to pay the bill and make their little girl’s dream come true, but many need a bit of convincing as to why the big day cost so much. And, of course, why all of those little details you want are even necessary. They would ask stupid questions like “why does the wedding dress cost so much? You’re only going to wear it once?!”. They would identify every opportunity to lower the cost. But that is when dad needs to be educated, very subtly, that his daughter started dreaming about her wedding as a little girl and if you measure the cost over how many years it has taken for this day to become a reality, then it’s not really that expensive after all! As CFO you get to fire people who don’t produce value or cost you too much money, however this is a different scenario and if she wants swans wearing tuxedos you make sure you hire people who deliver the best value and the best rates.

He Holds Regular Family Finance Meetings.

Every month the CFO meets with all his employees. This financial meeting is different to any other family meeting in the sense that there is a perfectly typed out agenda that covers the review of each key component in the family mission statement and budget. The purpose of the meeting is to conduct a formal review of expenses and bank balances. He also refers to his spouse as the Vice President of Company affairs and his children represents the employees. The end of each meeting includes a brainstorming session on the question: “How can we save more money?” Decisions made are documented, (by his secretary who got roped in to take meeting minutes), in writing with tasks, responsibility and timelines for completion of actions identified.

He Institutes a Family Reward System

Involving all family members, encouraging communication between parents and children about the rewards process and it also ensures that everyone in the family are onboard with the reward system. To get everyone in the family involved and committed to achieving progress, the CFO rewards family members based on the money saving ideas developed and deployed. Bonuses and rewards are based on ideas, practices and decisions that lower expenses and actually save or make the family money.

He Uses The Following Words and Phrases excessively:

  • Growth, as in: “You are not making good grades in school and your mother and myself are much focused on seeing growth.”
  • Resource allocation, as in: “The youth of today have no discipline when it comes to resource allocation.”
  • Execution, as in: “You can’t worry about the swings; you have to focus on execution.”
  • Quarter to quarter, as in: “If businesses fall into the trap of being focused quarter to quarter, it is because they have allowed that to happen.”
  • A penny of EPS (earnings per share), as in: “We don’t think a penny of EPS really matters one way or another if we are investing those dollars with a high ROI.”
  • The reality for us…, as in: “The reality for us is that there are a lot of other places in the world that are more investment friendly.”
  • At the end of the day, as in: “At the end of the day, in business, you make decisions based on confidence.”
  • Return On Investment: “I will send you to Harvard on one condition; I want to see a return on my investment someday!” This is a term your CFO or CFO dad can’t get enough of.

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