In uncertain times, CEOs trust CFOs most

The pandemic has led CFOs to become “smashers of rose-colored glasses,” Oracle NetSuite researchers wrote. CFOs provide the realism, and, for that reason, often have the CEO’s ear.

The pandemic has led CFOs to take on a new role: smasher of rose-colored glasses, according to Oracle NetSuite’s research arm, Brainyard. Finance executives provide the realism to counteract sometimes fanciful optimism, and, for that reason, often have the CEO’s ear.

“What finance says now matters a lot, particularly in determining measured responses that prioritize short-term viability without sacrificing long-term resilience and agility,” Art Wittmann, editor of a recent Brainyard post, wrote.

Because of today’s turbulence, the old playbook that governed the relationship between the CEO and CFO has changed, Wittmann said. In less turbulent times, CEOs focused on creating great products while CFOs dealt with creating great companies. “Good CFOs, like good referees, keep everything running smoothly while staying mostly in the background,” Wittmann said. That’s now changing.

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