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The CEO’s Checklist for Finance

Every CEO wants to grow and control their organization. Not every CEO has the right horsepower in the Finance department to enable growth with sufficient control. How does one know if there are weaknesses?

At Cerius, we recently interviewed three of our interim CFOs and with their input developed a short list of best practices that indicate strength (when present) or weakness (when absent) in the finance department of any company.

  1. Books close in 7-10 days. Real-time decisions require real-time information.
  2. A 13-week cash flow reporting system is in place and accurate.
  3. Internal procedures are documented and instantly available.
  4. Areas of costly waste have been, or are being, identified throughout the company.
  5. You know the cost and profit trends for all your products, or at least your primary product(s).
  6. Your executive team knows the company’s key performance benchmark.
  7. You have a strategic plan and the executive team all agree where the company is in relation to the plan.
  8. You have a list of your key personnel who are”A” – or at least “B” – quality. You have a plan in place for the “C” players.

These best-practices are explained in more detail in the paper, “Putting the RightHorsepower into your Finance Department. Questions that Reveal HiddenWeaknesses in Financial Controls”.

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