Tom Hood on leadership and adapting to a role stretch

To remark on this episode or to counsel an thought for an additional episode, contact Neil Amato, a
JofA senior editor, at [email protected].


Neil Amato: There’s hope on the horizon associated to transferring previous the COVID-19 pandemic, however there’s nonetheless loads of financial injury to assess, to regulate to, and plan for. CFOs are sometimes counted on for navigating that uncertainty, and a CPA who’s in contact with the CFO neighborhood, to say the least, is Tom Hood, who’s a speaker on the upcoming AICPA & CIMA CFO Conference. Tom is the manager vice chairman for enterprise progress and engagement on the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.

Tom, welcome again to the podcast, your first since changing into my colleague, and inform the listeners what have the previous 16 months taught finance professionals?

Tom Hood: Well, first, Neil, it’s nice to be right here with you and name you a colleague now. I’ve recognized you for fairly a whereas in my outdated role. So, it’s cool to be right here with the Association. So, what have they realized up to now 16 months? I need to begin by saying, “a lot.” And I do know lots of them are most likely a bit weary from the fixed authorities reduction applications, having to assist their companies reforecast and reproject underneath all that uncertainty. So, they’ve realized how to work in a distant atmosphere, which they principally by no means did a lot earlier than. They’ve realized how to transfer up the worth chain. They’ve turn out to be worth companions, due to the CEO relying on them a lot to assist them say, “What’s our money movement forecast?” “Are we going to make our financial institution loans?” “What’s the enterprise going to seem like as we come via this pandemic?” And then because it wore on, it grew to become much more essential. So I feel that most likely can be No. 2. I feel No. 3 can be they realized that know-how performed effectively can actually speed up the technique of them transferring via this and actually determining how to make their finance operate work tremendous, tremendous successfully.

Amato: For CFOs, VPs of finance, FP&A administrators, you talked about the distant working, however what have had to be taught, perhaps about themselves or about enterprise — what’s new on that entrance?

Hood: So, a lot, proper, as a result of they’d to find out how to lead distant groups. It’s totally different in a distant atmosphere, proper, the way you coordinate with them. I feel the opposite one which sort of ties to know-how and the leadership piece, although, Neil, is the notion of what we name fast shut. What we name closing the books — it used to take us three weeks to shut books after I was in a CFO role again within the ’80s. Obviously, with cloud and all of the applied sciences, they’re all working to shorten that shut to nearly zero. They’re attempting to shut them day-after-day. But one of the best of one of the best corporations are closing them inside three or 4 days. What does that imply? Well, if I can shut my books in three days as a substitute of three weeks, which means I’ve acquired a lot extra time as a CFO to use my enterprise expertise to assist analyze that information, to assist advise the enterprise. So, that’s most likely the No. 1 factor that we might say from that standpoint.

And then, I feel in that very same realm is the notion of instructing your workforce to give you the chance to do the identical issues you’re. In different phrases, you want to depend on your workforce extra as you shorten that shut and you begin taking on new roles and duties. And then, they did.

So what this turned out to be, Neil, is what we name a role stretch. Suddenly, CFOs discovered themselves reaching for the CEO, serving to them run the enterprise and making it survive and thrive. And once they didn’t have their workforce upskilled sufficient, or they didn’t have the know-how performed effectively, then that workforce was scuffling with the closing of the books operate, the stewardship operate, which is equally vital. That’s a factor that they’ve all recognized with, and then that led to, “Oh my goodness, I’ve been doing this digital transformation, however my workforce hasn’t stored up with the talent units they want,” as a result of it’s a totally different set of talent units.

That’s among the issues we’re going to speak about within the session known as Mise En Place: Setting the Table for the Future. How will we reconcile that concept?

Amato: I’m glad you used the French as a result of I couldn’t do it. Thank you for saying the identify of your session accurately. Again, the CFO Conference is May 5–7 on-line. One of your different classes is on, I suppose, a talent that some CFOs have had to stretch to be taught, and that’s on leveraging the facility of social media. Did the hole between those that understood that energy earlier than the pandemic widen as a results of the pandemic?

Hood: So, it’s humorous, you employ that time period “widening the hole.” Because I feel the hole is widening in a complete bunch of areas from this complete pandemic, proper? The acceleration of developments that led to all of the enterprise transformations and issues like that, and then this concept of social media.

If something, social media acquired even worse due to the political atmosphere and the social atmosphere that we’re in. So, all the sudden, social media is a unhealthy phrase. It was all the time not a nice phrase for CFOs; now it’s even worse. It’s like, “I don’t need to contact it.” So, I feel to your level, the hole widened and the recognition or the controversy round it grew. I’ll say that in case you’re doing it for these functions, then you need to keep away from it, as a result of I don’t do this sort of factor.

I exploit it for studying, connecting, and serving to me do my job higher. It permits you to join to so many individuals, which is social capital. It’s one of many main capitals talked about within the built-in reporting [framework]. The social capital of our enterprise and of your self.

Elon Musk sort of set the world on fireplace when he began tweeting about his Tesla firm. The SEC really, I feel, sanctioned him as a result of he was beginning to give forward-looking — so, there’s a line, particularly for a public-company CFO, to watch. For most of us, it’s a highly effective means to preserve your studying quicker than the speed of change, to make connections which might be related, And on this atmosphere, CFOs ought to be connecting to clients and their suppliers and discovering out what’s going on, and social media is among the finest methods to do this.

Amato: Anything to add in closing?

Hood: Well, I feel what we’re going to do in that social media session is — we’re not attempting to push it on anybody. We’re going to strive to get the knowledge of the group and strive to speak about what they’re utilizing and what are the preferred instruments.

For me, it’s LinkedIn and Twitter. I’m extra private on Facebook. But I do put some stuff on the market, too. And, most significantly, it’s this concept of utilizing the instruments and not letting the instruments use you. That’s what we’re going to train in our social CFO session. I hope a bunch of you within the viewers will be part of us. Connect with me on LinkedIn, and on Twitter, it’s @tomhood. Again, we’re going to present you what’s going on. And, it’s all digital. But we’re going to provide you with sensible suggestions. Again, probably the most highly effective studying instruments there are, are a part of the social know-how stack.

Amato: Tom, thanks very a lot. Those of you interested by the CFO Conference can see and hear Tom on-line subsequent week.

Hood: Looking ahead to it. Thank you, Neil.

Amato: As talked about, Tom Hood is presenting at subsequent week’s CFO Conference. He is also a presenter at ENGAGE 2021 in July. In the present notes for this episode, we’ll hyperlink to the pages for these respective conferences. You may also discover and comply with Tom on your individual. He’s recurrently on LinkedIn Live, conversing with consultants on accounting, enterprise, know-how, tradition — you identify it. Tom has been on Twitter since 2008; he’s @TomHood on that platform, and he’s undoubtedly price a comply with there.

In different information, the U.S. Small Business Administration made bulletins concerning two assist applications and their utility home windows. First, the portal for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program is accepting purposes. That portal was shut down earlier in April due to technical points. The SBA launched an SVOG consumer information for these nonetheless studying in regards to the utility course of.

The SBA additionally introduced the appliance timeline for its Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Registration begins on Friday, April 30, and purposes will probably be accepted beginning on Monday, May 3, at midday Eastern time. The SBA suggested eligible entities to familiarize themselves with the appliance course of prematurely. That fund is making obtainable $28.6 billion for eligible entities whose enterprise has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

And, lastly, the Journal of Accountancy’s Sally Schreiber has the main points of the IRS issuing adjusted quantities for the kid tax credit score, the earned earnings tax credit score, and the premium tax credit score for 2021.

You can discover the hyperlinks to that article and the opposite SBA information talked about within the present notes for this episode or by visiting I’m Neil Amato with the JofA. Thanks for listening to the Journal of Accountancy podcast.

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