The Ultimate Guide to Crafting a Successful CFO 100 Day Plan

Are you a new CFO or recently appointed to the role? Your first 100 days in any new job are crucial, and the CFO position is no exception. As a financial leader, you are expected to provide a strategic direction that aligns with the organization’s goals, establish strong relationships with employees, investors, and stakeholders, and drive financial performance.

But where do you start? Crafting a 100-day plan is an ideal method to ease the transition, identify key priorities and challenges, and articulate your vision for the future. This blog post will explore the essential elements of a successful CFO 100-day plan, the biggest challenges for new CFOs, and provide templates and checklists to help you get started. Let’s dive in!

Why a CFO 100-Day Plan is Essential for Success

As a CFO stepping into a new company, the first 100 days can feel overwhelming. That’s why having a clear, concise 100-day plan in your back pocket can make all the difference. Not only does it allow you to hit the ground running, but it also helps set the tone for your tenure. Trust us — the last thing you want to do is wing it, and end up on the wrong foot.

What is a CFO 100-Day Plan

Simply put, it’s a roadmap that outlines your goals, strategies, and priorities as the CFO for the first 100 days. Your plan should be tailored to the company’s unique needs, and should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Why is it Important

A CFO 100-Day Plan is important for several reasons. First, it gives clarity to your goals and objectives, which helps you stay focused and avoid distractions. Second, it ensures that you’re integrating into the company in a strategic way that assumes its culture, objectives, and the company’s financial health. Third, it communicates to other stakeholders, like the CEO and Board of Directors, exactly what you plan to achieve—and how you plan to achieve it.

What Goes into a CFO 100-Day Plan

The components of a CFO 100-Day Plan are wide-ranging, but ultimately should reflect the unique needs of the company. Some key areas to consider include:

Understanding the Company’s Culture and Objectives

Before you can start planning, it’s essential to get a good understanding of the company’s culture and objectives. This includes getting to know the leadership team, meeting with key stakeholders, and immersing yourself in the company’s mission, values, and vision.

Evaluating the Financial Health of the Company

The next step is to review the company’s financial performance, including its balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. This will help you identify areas of strength, as well as potential challenges.

Identifying Opportunities for Improvement

With a good understanding of the company’s culture, objectives, and financial health, it’s time to start identifying areas for improvement. This might include reducing costs, improving financial controls, or streamlining accounting processes.

Establishing Priorities

Once you’ve identified areas for improvement, it’s time to establish your top priorities. Which initiatives will have the greatest impact on the company’s financial health and overall success?

Developing an Action Plan

In order to achieve your priorities, you’ll need a detailed action plan that outlines what needs to be done, who will do it, and how progress will be measured.

In conclusion, a CFO 100-Day Plan is essential for success as the new CFO of a company. It helps you stay focused, integrate into the company strategically, and communicate your goals and objectives to other stakeholders. By taking the time to develop a comprehensive plan that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound, you set yourself up for success in your new role.

New CFO Checklist

Congratulations! You’ve just landed the job of your dreams, and now you’re the new CFO of a company. Whether you’ve been promoted internally or coming from outside, you’ll be facing several challenges that come with the new role. So, what do you need to do in your first 100 days to ensure success in your new position? Here’s a quick checklist for all new CFOs out there:

Assess the Financial Health of the Company

The first thing you need to do as a new CFO is to know the current state of the company’s finances. As the new financial head, you must review the company’s financial statements and identify potential issues. This review will help you understand the areas that need more attention and prioritize your actions.

Check the Budget

It’s important to evaluate the existing budget to see areas that may require some adjustments. Look for places where you can cut costs or save money without harming the company’s operations. This is a great way of demonstrating your value to the company.

Evaluate the Finances

Assess the indicators that show the company’s financial strength, such as accounts receivables, payables, cash flow, working capital, and others. This will help you identify any financial risks or opportunities you might not have known before.

Take a Look at the Accounting Processes

Explore how are things done in the finance department and assess whether the systems in place are efficient and effective. If they’re not, propose new strategies or systems that can improve the delivery of services.

Understand the Company Culture

As a new CFO, it’s important to know the company’s culture. This involves the values, beliefs, behaviors, and expectations that shape how the company operates. It’s essential to understand how business gets done and the importance of communicating with other departments.

Build Relationships

Networking is important in the corporate world, and as a CFO, building relationships with people around you is crucial. From other departments to clients, fostering relationships early in your tenure can go a long way in building trust and collaboration.

Take Time to Listen

Being a good listener is an essential skill for any CFO. When starting your new role, take time to listen to people’s opinions, recommendations, and experiences. It will help you understand the dynamics of the company better and form an accurate picture of where you need to focus your efforts.

Develop a Strategy

Once you have identified the areas that require attention, it’s time to develop your strategy. A suitable strategy should outline how to prioritize the areas that need to be addressed and how to achieve the desired results.

Set Realistic Goals

Make sure to set realistic targets for yourself, based on the current state of the business. Building strong relationships with colleagues, identifying risk areas and proposing solutions as well as working with your team to implement them.

Communicate Your Strategy

Once you have a working strategy, make sure everyone understands and is on board with it. Communicate the plan across the company to ensure everyone is aware of how you intend to make valuable contributions to the organization.

Being a CFO can be challenging, but by following the advice outlined in this checklist, you can ensure a smoother transition and a more successful tenure. Keep in mind to stay focused, prioritize your efforts, remain highly communicative, and continuously evaluate your objectives. With these steps in mind, your first 100 days as CFO are sure to be a success!

Celebrate Your CFO’s Birthday with These Hilarious Wishes

As the CFO of a company, your boss might seem stern and unapproachable, especially when they’re deep in the throes of number-crunching. However, did you know that your CFO is also a human being who celebrates birthdays? This year, surprise your CFO with a birthday wish that will crack them up and show them that their team appreciates their hard work and sense of humor. Here are some hilarious wishes to choose from:

The Funny One

“Happy birthday, boss! You’re so good with numbers that you’re aging backwards! In a few years, you’ll be back in kindergarten doing basic arithmetic!”

The Confusing One

“Happy birthday! We hope you have as much fun as a CFO reading an income statement!”

The Quirky One

“Happy birthday to a CFO without whom our profit and loss statements would be a jumbled mess. We promise to keep bringing you coffee until the end of time! Or until you retire with that sweet, sweet pension. Whichever comes first!”

The Sarcastic One

“Happy birthday! I hope you budgeted for a solid 30 seconds of relaxation before getting back to work. Who said CFOs can’t have fun on their birthday?”

The Admiring One

“Happy birthday to a CFO whose financial acumen and leadership inspire us all. Here’s to a year of continued success, growth, and profitability!”

Choose the one that resonates with you the most, or mix and match until you come up with the perfect message! Don’t forget to add a personal touch by writing the message on a handmade card or cake. Happy celebrating!

Mastering Your First 100 Days as a CFO: What Can We Learn from McKinsey

If you want to prepare a 100 day plan that will actually make an impact, you need to take a page from the McKinsey playbook. This legendary consulting firm has helped many new CFOs get a head start on their roles with their tried and tested frameworks. Here’s how you can use these frameworks to make sure that your first 100 days as a CFO are a success story.

Start by Identifying Key Priorities

The 100 day plan is all about prioritizing tasks and focusing on the most important things. To do that, start by asking some fundamental questions about the company’s goals and objectives:

  • What are the three most critical problems the company is facing right now?
  • What are the top priorities for the board of directors?
  • What are the most valuable opportunities that the company can capitalize on?

McKinsey advises using a list of “14 levers of value creation,” which essentially serves as a checklist of the most important things a CFO needs to focus on. By assessing each of these levers against the company’s goals and priorities, you should be able to create a clear roadmap for your first 100 days.

Set Clear Goals and Objectives

Once you’ve identified your key priorities, it’s time to set some specific goals and objectives that will help you achieve them. McKinsey recommends using a system called the “Three Horizons of Growth,” which is designed to help you balance short-term goals with long-term vision.

The Three Horizons of Growth framework distinguishes between:

  • Horizon 1: The core business (i.e. what the company is doing now)
  • Horizon 2: Adjacent opportunities (i.e. what the company could be doing in the near future)
  • Horizon 3: Disruptive opportunities (i.e. what the company could be doing in the more distant future)

By setting goals and objectives for each of these horizons, you can make sure that you’re not neglecting any important area of the company’s growth.

Build Strong Relationships with Key Stakeholders

As a CFO, you’ll be working closely with many different stakeholders, from the CEO and the board of directors to the company’s customers and suppliers. It’s important to start building strong relationships with these stakeholders from day one.

McKinsey advises using a technique called “swarming” to deepen your relationships with key stakeholders. Essentially, this means rallying your team around specific stakeholders and working together to build strong connections with them.

By using these techniques and frameworks, you can make sure that your first 100 days as a CFO are as successful as possible. And who knows, you might even impress the folks at McKinsey with your newfound mastery of their methods!

CFO Biggest Challenges

Being a CFO is no easy feat. From managing finances to making strategic decisions, they have their work cut out for them. Here are some of the biggest challenges that CFOs face in their daily work lives.

Balancing short term vs. long term financial goals

CFOs need to ensure their companies stay afloat by meeting short-term financial targets while still planning for long-term growth. It’s like juggling two balls, one of which is on fire!

Keeping up with constantly changing regulations

Tax laws, accounting standards, and compliance regulations are continuously evolving. CFOs must keep up with these changes, or they risk falling behind and incurring penalties. It’s like trying to keep a race car on track while constantly having to adjust the steering wheel.

Managing cash flow

Managing cash flow is crucial for businesses. It’s the lifeblood that determines whether a business can thrive, survive, or die. CFOs must strike a perfect balance between keeping enough cash on hand and investing in long-term growth. It’s like trying to bake a perfect cake without ever seeing the recipe.

Managing risk

CFOs need to be risk managers. They are required to strike a perfect balance between taking risks and being conservative. They have to be able to assess and manage financial risks to ensure the company’s financial stability. It’s like walking a tightrope while carrying a heavy load.

Building a strong finance team

CFOs need to lead, mentor, train, and motivate their team. They need to ensure that everyone on the team is equipped with the right tools and knowledge to manage the company’s finances efficiently. It’s like trying to coach a basketball team to win the championship.

In conclusion, the challenges that CFOs face are daunting, but with the right mindset and a set of skills, they can overcome them. So, if you’re planning to become a CFO, buckle up, and get ready to face some of these challenges.

CFO First 100 Days Plan Template

Are you a new CFO wondering where to start your first 100 days plan? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with this customizable, easy-to-follow template that will set you up for success.

Day 1: Meet the Team

Start by getting to know your team and their roles within the company. This will help you gain insight into how the business operates and how you can best support your team.

Week 1: Set Expectations

Set expectations with your team for communication, deadlines, and performance. It’s important to establish a culture of transparency and accountability from day one so that everyone is on the same page.

Week 2: Review Financials

Take a deep dive into the company’s financials. This will help you identify areas of strength and weakness and develop a plan to optimize performance.

Week 3: Define Your Vision

Work with the CEO and other executives to define your vision for the future of the company. This will help guide your decisions and ensure you are working toward a common goal.

Week 4: Develop an Action Plan

With your vision in mind, develop a comprehensive action plan that outlines goals and strategies for the next 12-24 months. This will help keep you on track and ensure you are making progress toward your vision.

Month 2: Streamline Processes

Identify areas where processes can be streamlined or automated to improve efficiency and reduce costs. This will help the business run more smoothly and free up time and resources for other initiatives.

Month 3: Develop Relationships

Build relationships with external partners, such as investors, customers, and vendors. This will help you gain insight into market opportunities and stay abreast of industry trends and best practices.

By following this template, you’ll be well on your way to a successful first 100 days as CFO. Remember, it’s important to stay flexible and adjust your plan as needed based on changing circumstances and new insights. Good luck!

30-60-90 Day Plan for a Finance Director

So, you’ve landed your dream job as a finance director, and now you’re tasked with creating a 30-60-90 day plan. No biggie, right? Wrong! With so much pressure to deliver, it’s easy to be overwhelmed. But don’t panic, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you nail your 30-60-90 day plan.

Days 1-30: Getting to grips with the company’s finances

The first month is all about understanding the company’s financial landscape. Start by diving deep into the company’s financial statements and metrics, such as the cash flow statement, balance sheet, and profit and loss statement. You should also meet with senior management to get a handle on the company’s goals and objectives.

Develop a Strong Financial Infrastructure

Once you have a good grasp of the company’s financial situation, you can start to assess the infrastructure that is in place for managing it. At this stage, your focus should be on identifying areas for improvement, such as processes that can be streamlined or redundancies that can be eliminated.

Days 31-60: Identifying opportunities to improve profitability

Now that you have a good understanding of the company’s financials, it’s time to start looking for ways to improve profitability. As finance director, you’ll be responsible for driving cost savings and enhancing the company’s revenue streams.

Implement Cost Savings Measures

One way to improve profitability is by implementing cost-saving measures. This could involve negotiating better contracts with vendors, reducing headcount in non-essential areas, or optimizing the supply chain to reduce costs.

Days 61-90: Implementing long-term strategic plans

Finally, it’s time to focus on the longer-term strategic plans. Your goal is to help the company achieve sustainable growth and profitability.

Explore New Revenue Streams

One way to achieve sustainable growth is through the exploration of new revenue streams. This could involve introducing new products or services, expanding into new markets, or identifying new distribution channels.

Develop Strong Relationships with Key Stakeholders

In addition to exploring new revenue streams, it’s also important to develop strong relationships with key stakeholders in the organization. This includes working closely with sales and marketing teams to develop effective strategies for promoting the company’s products and services.

By following this 30-60-90 day plan, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful finance director. Good luck!

What Does a CFO’s Daily Routine Look Like

As a CFO, your daily routine could be described as a combination of planning, analyzing, strategizing, and communicating. Here’s a breakdown of what an average day in the life of a CFO might look like:


CFOs are early birds! They start their day early, preferably before everyone else in the office. The first few hours of the day are reserved for checking emails, monitoring financial reports, and casting an eye over any overnight updates. Coffee is an integral part of every CFO’s morning, and the local barista knows their order by heart.


The mid-morning is typically when the CFO will get together with other executives to discuss the day’s business, analyze current reports, and set goals for the day. Depending on the specific industry and size of the company, this meeting might include senior executives, major stakeholders, or board members.


Like most working professionals, CFOs are guilty of eating lunch at their desk, a habit they picked up during their early days as interns. But every CFO knows that a proper lunch break should be considered sacred and adhered to the best of their ability. Lunchtime is an opportunity to recharge and mentally reset for the second half of the day.


Afternoons are when CFOs get down to the nitty-gritty. They spend time analyzing reports, monitoring expenditures, and negotiating deals. They collaborate with other executives and team members, answer urgent emails, and catch up on any backlog of work. It’s a hectic time, but the CFO knows it’s essential to have a handle on every aspect of the business.

Late Afternoon:

In the late afternoon, the CFO will often meet with other executives once again to review the progress made during the day. The CFO will provide updates on the company’s financial status and advise on any necessary changes. After that, the CFO will catch up on any missed emails and prepare for upcoming meetings.


CFOs are not fans of working late into the night. Instead, they aim to complete everything they need to do during the regular workday. However, sometimes an emergency might crop up, and the CFO will need to stay back to handle it. On the rare occasions when there’s nothing urgent, the CFO might use the evenings to attend industry events, network or meet with clients.

In conclusion, a CFO’s day is rigorous, fast-paced, and unpredictable. They spend a lot of time analyzing reports, strategizing, and making sure all aspects of the business are running smoothly. Being a CFO is not an easy job but with dedication and hard work, it can be rewarding.

What a CFO should prioritize in the first 100 days

So, you finally got your dream job and are now the chief financial officer of a company. Congratulations! Now, what’s next? What do you do in the first 100 days? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here are some things you should prioritize in your first 100 days as a CFO.

Understand the Company/Culture

Before you start making any significant changes, take some time to understand the company and its culture. Knowing the ins and outs of the company can equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

Meet Key Stakeholders

Meet with the CEO, COO, and other executives to get their perspectives on the company’s finances. These key stakeholders can offer valuable insight into the company’s current financial standing, what has worked in the past, and what needs improvement.

Review Financial Statements

Review the current financial statements to get an idea of the company’s financial health. This will give you an overview of how the company is doing financially and can help identify issues or areas that need improvement.

Understand the Strategic Goals

Understanding the company’s strategic goals is vital as the CFO’s role is to align financial plans with strategic objectives. By understanding the company’s strategic goals, you can identify the key financial metrics that need to be tracked.

Evaluate the Finance Team

Take some time to evaluate the finance team to assess their strengths and weaknesses. Make sure you have the right people in the right roles to achieve the company’s financial goals.

Establish Relationships with External Parties

Establish relationships with external parties such as auditors, investors, and lenders. Make sure you understand their expectations and align them with the company’s financial goals.

Identify Key Financial Risks

Identifying key financial risks is essential in mitigating potential financial losses. This includes analyzing cash flow risks, credit risks, market risks, and operational risks, among others.

Implement Cost-cutting Measures

One way to improve the company’s finances is by implementing cost-cutting measures. Look for areas where expenses can be reduced without compromising the company’s ability to operate efficiently.

In conclusion, the first 100 days can be an overwhelming experience for any new CFO. However, by prioritizing the tasks mentioned above, you can set yourself up for success and make informed decisions that align with the company’s goals. Good luck!

Questions to Ask a CFO of a Large Company

So you’ve finally landed that CFO position at a major firm. Congrats! Before you start spending your new six-figure salary on fancy boats and champagne, it’s important to get the lay of the land. Here are some questions to ask your new colleagues to help you hit the ground running:

Financial Strategy

  • What is the company’s current financial strategy?
    It’s important to understand how the company plans to make money and what the priorities are for the organization. This will help you align your goals with those of the company and get to work right away.

  • What are our biggest financial challenges?
    Understanding what the main pain points are will help you focus on the most important areas right off the bat. It will also give you an idea of how to allocate resources and prioritize initiatives.

  • Who are our key financial partners?
    Knowing who you’ll be working with on a regular basis will help you build relationships quickly and make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to goals and objectives.

Data And Metrics

  • What metrics do we use to measure success?
    It’s important to understand what’s important to the company and how success is measured. This will help you focus on the right goals and initiatives and show progress in the areas that matter most.

  • What are our data sources?
    Understanding where the data comes from and how it’s collected and analyzed will help you understand the quality of the data and how to use it effectively.

Management And Processes

  • What are the biggest challenges facing the finance team?
    Understanding what’s holding the team back will help you prioritize your initiatives and allocate resources effectively. It will also help you build a roadmap for improving processes and communication.

  • What are our biggest opportunities?
    Knowing where the company sees potential for growth will help you align your goals with those of the company and show how you can contribute to its success.

  • How can I help you achieve your goals?
    It’s important to build relationships with your colleagues and understand what they need from you in order to be successful. This will help you establish credibility and build trust, and ultimately help you succeed in your new role.

As you settle into your new role as CFO of a large company, don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to know your colleagues. Understanding the company’s financial strategy, data sources, and processes will help you hit the ground running and contribute to the success of the organization. So go ahead, pop open that bottle of champagne – but don’t forget to ask the important questions first!

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