What Should a New CFO Do First? A Comprehensive Guide

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Congratulations! You’ve landed the coveted position of CFO, and the company is looking at you for guidance. But where do you start? The first 30 days as a CFO are critical, and you need a solid plan of action to ensure that you hit the ground running. This comprehensive blog post will guide you on what a new CFO should do first to establish themselves as capable and confident leaders.

Your first meeting with the executives, employees and shareholders is an opportunity to make a positive first impression. Your speech sets the tone for your tenure, and it is essential to communicate your vision clearly. Don’t be anxious; we’ve got you covered with tips on how to make the right impression.

A CFO transition checklist is essential to ensure a smooth handover from the previous CFO. This will help you to understand the company processes, culture, key stakeholders, challenges and unique opportunities.

With the plethora of responsibilities that come with the role of CFO, knowing what to focus on can be a challenge. We will enlighten you on what a CFO needs to know and the top priorities of a CFO.

Having a plan that lays out your first 100 days as CFO is non-negotiable. It is an excellent way to ensure you are on track and accountable for your actions. We will provide you with a CFO first 100 days plan template that outlines critical tasks to accomplish.

Are you ready to establish yourself as a visionary CFO in your company and industry? Then let’s dive in!

What Should a New CFO Do First

As a new CFO in a company, it’s vital to hit the ground running and show value as soon as possible. Here are three things new CFOs should focus on doing as soon as they start their new role:

1. Build Relationships

The first thing a new CFO should do is get to know the key players in the company. This includes the CEO, other C-suite execs, and department heads. Set up meetings with each of them to learn more about their roles and what they expect from you as the new CFO. Be sure to listen more than you talk during these initial conversations. Ask questions, take notes, and be genuinely interested in what each person has to say.

2. Assess the Financial Health

Before making any major decisions, a new CFO must know the company’s current financial health. Review financial statements of the company and gather as much information as possible about the financial history of the company. From there, you can identify any areas that require immediate attention. It’s also essential to set up a process to keep track of financial statements regularly.

3. Communicate Change

If there are any changes that need to be made, such as restructuring the finance team or changing the budget, it’s essential to communicate those changes transparently. Employees will want to know why changes are necessary and how they will affect the company. Be clear and concise when communicating changes to avoid any confusion.

By building relationships, assessing the financial health, and communicating change, a new CFO can set the foundation for success in their role. Remember to take the time to understand the company culture, listen, and be patient – success won’t happen overnight. As a new CFO, it’s essential to be proactive and continually seek out ways to improve the financial performance of the company.

First 30 Days as CFO

Congratulations! You have just been appointed as the new CFO of the company. The first 30 days are the most crucial for any CFO as it sets the tone of your tenure and establishes your reputation within the organization. Here are a few things you should concentrate on in your initial month.

what should a new cfo do first

Get to know the company

Understand the company’s culture, management structure, and the industry it operates in. This will help you get a better understanding of the company’s priorities, challenges, and opportunities. Schedule meetings with the team to introduce yourself and to build relationships. Try to understand the company’s history, vision, and mission.

Evaluate the financial situation

It’s essential to evaluate the company’s financial situation and identify areas that need improvement. Review the company’s financial statements and get an accurate picture of its liquidity, profitability, and cash flow. Analyze the budget and ensure the company is operating within its means. Identify areas where cost-cutting measures can be implemented, and revenue can be boosted.

Meet with the team

Schedule meetings with all the teams that report to you, including Accounting, Treasury, and FP&A. Understand their roles and responsibilities and how they contribute to the company’s success. Work together to identify and prioritize new projects and initiatives. Discuss their future career goals and map out a plan to help them achieve them.

Develop a strategy

Based on your assessment of the company, develop a strategic plan. Identify key initiatives that will impact the company’s growth and viability in the long term. Work with the team to develop a plan to accomplish these objectives. Ensure all the initiatives are aligned with the company’s vision, mission, and objectives.


Effective communication is crucial in your first 30 days. Establish good relationships with your team, your peers, and the board of directors. Be transparent and open in your communications and provide regular updates on your progress. Be approachable and available to listen to any concerns or suggestions.

In conclusion, the first 30 days are a time of transition and setting the stage for the rest of your tenure. Take the time to understand the company, evaluate the financial situation, meet with the team, develop a strategy, and communicate effectively. By doing so, you’ll set yourself up for success and make a positive impact on the company.

First Meeting with the CFO

One of the most crucial steps a new CFO should consider is their first meeting with the team, especially their fellow C-Suite executives. This meeting sets the tone for the CFO’s tenure and helps them establish their objectives and priorities early on. In this section, we will outline some tips for how to prepare for this first meeting and set yourself up for success.

Do Your Research

Before your first meeting, take time to learn as much as you can about the company’s current financial situation, recent financial performance, and any current initiatives being undertaken by the finance team. Review financial reports, budget documentation, and any internal memos from your predecessor.

Set an Agenda

To make the most of your first meeting, create an agenda that includes specific items to discuss and goals to achieve during the meeting. Creating an agenda will help you stay on track and ensure that nothing gets overlooked.

Establish Yourself as a Collaborative Partner

During your first meeting, make it clear that you see yourself as a collaborative partner, not just as a gatekeeper or watchdog. As such, you should seek to establish relationships with other C-Suite executives and demonstrate an understanding of their goals and concerns.

Be Direct and Honest

Your first meeting should also be an opportunity to be direct and honest about your expectations and priorities. Clearly communicate the goals and objectives you hope to achieve during your tenure as CFO and ask others for their input and feedback.

Seek Out Opportunities to Learn

Finally, your first meeting should not be your last. Seek out opportunities to learn and connect with your colleagues to ensure that you are always up to date on important company developments and are aware of any new initiatives that may affect the finance team.

By taking the time to prepare, set an agenda, establish collaborative partnerships, be direct and honest, and seek out opportunities to learn, CFOs can set themselves up for success and ensure a smooth transition into their new role.

what should a new cfo do first

CFO Speech to Employees

As a new CFO, one of the most important things you should do is to give a speech to your employees. This speech is an excellent opportunity for you to introduce yourself, your vision, and your goals for the company. Here’s a breakdown of what to include in your CFO speech to employees:


Start by introducing yourself and expressing your excitement about your new role. You should also thank your employees for their warm welcome and acknowledge the work they’ve done so far.


Next, share your vision for the company. This is an opportunity to inspire your employees and rally them behind a common goal. Be sure to explain how your vision aligns with the company’s mission and values.

Goals and Objectives

Outline the specific goals you’d like to achieve as CFO. These goals should be aligned with your vision for the company and should be measurable. Be sure to explain why these goals are important and how they will impact the company and its employees.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Explain the KPIs you’ll use to measure progress toward your goals. KPIs are essential for monitoring progress, determining when to pivot, and making data-driven decisions. Be sure to explain why you’ve chosen these particular KPIs and how they relate to the company’s overall success.

Action Plan

Finally, share your plans for achieving your goals. This is an opportunity to briefly outline the steps you’ll take to achieve your goals. Be sure to explain how your plans will impact the employees and the company as a whole.

In conclusion, giving a great speech to your employees is an essential part of being a new CFO. It’s an excellent opportunity to inspire and motivate your team, set expectations, and share your vision for the future. Be sure to follow the above tips to give a speech that resonates with your employees and sets you and your team on the path to success.

CFO Transition Checklist

Assuming you’re starting a new role as a CFO, the first 100 days can be overwhelming, and you need to hit the ground running. To help you navigate this critical period, we’ve compiled a CFO Transition Checklist that serves as a roadmap for your first few months on the job.

Day 1

On your first day, you must set some priorities. Start by getting a clear understanding of the company’s goals, finances, and culture. Will you be managing the finance team, and how many people are in it? What is the budget, and how will you balance the sheets? What are the short and long-term goals of the company? Understanding these critical items will help you begin creating a roadmap.

First Month

In your first month, focus on getting to know your finance team and other executives. Attend as many meetings as possible to understand unique perspectives on the company’s finances and workflows. You should also evaluate the team’s performance and see if any processes or tools need to be improved or dropped.

Another item to focus on in the first month is internal communication – ensure that they’re functioning effectively. You need to communicate consistently and clearly with your team to create a positive and productive work environment.

Second Month

Your second month will be a strategic time to focus on the critical areas that need improvement. For example, streamline the finance functions, evaluate the budget from different perspectives. Look at cost-cutting measures, evaluate the benefits of certain capital expenditures, and make recommendations. There may be a need to get buy-in from various stakeholders, but leadership is integral to driving and achieving sustainable business growth.

Third Month

On your third month, evaluate the progress you’ve made so far, and it’s time to set goals and objectives for the next quarter. Evaluate your KPIs, such as cash flow and growth, and plan ahead for the long term.

Remember to stay focused, prioritize building relationships within your new team and department, and communicate frequently. You may face some challenges as you transition into a new role, but the right attitude and approach will see you through.

What does a CFO Need to Know

As a new CFO, it’s essential to have a good grasp of the key roles and responsibilities of your position. Here are some of the most important things you need to know:

Financial Management and Planning

One of the most critical areas a CFO needs to know is financial management and planning. You’ll need to have a good grasp on financial planning, forecasting, and budgeting in managing a company’s financial health. This knowledge will help you ensure that the company’s resources are utilized effectively and efficiently.

Financial Reporting

Another essential area a CFO should excel in is financial reporting. You need to know how to prepare financial statements, including balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements. Be skilled in evaluating financial reports to assess the company’s financial well-being and make strategic decisions.

Regulatory Compliance

CFOs need to aware of regulatory compliance requirements to keep the company in good standing with the law. You need to stay up-to-date with regulations and laws that affect your industry and market. Follow regulatory guidelines and reporting requirements to maintain your company’s reputation and credibility.

Accounting and Tax

As the CFO, you must have sound accounting knowledge. You should be able to read and interpret financial statements and work collaboratively with the accounting team to ensure accurate financial reporting. Also, be knowledgeable in tax codes and laws in your country or state.

Communication and Leadership

As the CFO, you’ll need to have communication and leadership skills. You need to communicate financial information to shareholders, investors, and other stakeholders with clarity. Being a leader means setting high company standards, working diligently towards goals, and encouraging teamwork.

In summary, being a CFO requires a wide range of skills and knowledge. It is crucial to become proficient in financial management, financial reporting, regulatory compliance, accounting and tax, communication, and leadership.

CFO’s First 100 Days Plan Template

Starting as a new CFO in a company can be both exciting and intimidating. After the initial little excitements, it’s time to get into action and develop a rock-solid plan to steer the company in the right direction.

In this section, we will be discussing the CFO’s first 100 days plan template, a plan that can help all CFOs jumpstart their new roles and leave a lasting impact on their companies.

Lay Down the Foundation

The first thing you need to do as a new CFO is to understand the company’s mission, vision, and values completely. Develop a deep understanding of the company’s operational and financial functioning with the help of your team. Identify the stakeholders and the key performance indicators that define success for the company. Define the right financial targets with a clear focus on cash flow and revenue growth.

Assess the Existing Processes

In the first 30 days, you need to analyze existing financial processes and controls. Study the budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting processes. If any of these processes are clunky or outdated, consider revamping them to give you reliable and timely information.

Initiate a Strong Communication Channel

Build a strong communication channel with your CEO and other stakeholders. Plan out regular meetings and interactions with the senior management team, department heads, and other key employees, share your plans and vision, and gather their feedback. This communication plan will help you understand their expectations better and effectively execute your plans.

Focus on People

For a new CFO, people can be the most valuable asset. It’s essential to develop relationships across the organization that helps you in achieving your goals as a CFO. Invest your time in understanding how your team works, identify the key success factors, and develop a strong team that works to achieve your goals around the financial plan.

what should a new cfo do first

Build Strong Analytics

A data-driven approach can transform how a company sees success and failure. Developing an analytics framework for the company’s financials can help measure progress continuously, help you make accurate decisions, and quickly course correct if necessary.

Wrap Up

Your first 100 days as a CFO are essential. You need to take the necessary steps, such as building relationships with stakeholders, assessing existing processes, developing a strong analytics approach, with the given CFO’s first 100 days plan template, to build the foundation for your long-term success in the company. Use these valuable tips to establish a robust, promising financial plan while communicating effectively with other employees, investors, stakeholders, and other parties to drive up the growth and success of the company.

What Are the Top Priorities of a CFO

As a new CFO, your first order of business is to identify your top priorities and create a plan to execute them. Here are some of the key areas you’ll need to focus on:

1. Understand the Financial Landscape

Before you can make any significant decisions, you need to have a complete understanding of your company’s financials. This means diving into the books and getting up to speed on everything from revenue and expenses to debt and cash flow. You’ll also need to be familiar with any financial regulations that may affect your company.

2. Set Goals and Objectives

Once you have a handle on your company’s financial situation, it’s time to set some goals. Determine what you want to achieve in the short and long term and create specific, measurable objectives to help you get there. Your goals should align with the overall strategy of the company and be supported by the financial data.

3. Create a Budget and Forecast

One of the most critical responsibilities of a CFO is to create and manage the company’s budget. You’ll need to work closely with department heads to identify their needs and allocate funds accordingly. You’ll also need to create a forecasting model to anticipate any future challenges or opportunities.

4. Establish Financial Controls

A CFO is responsible for ensuring that the company’s finances are managed appropriately and that there are adequate financial controls in place. This includes monitoring spending, establishing policies and procedures, and overseeing the accounting and finance staff.

5. Communicate with Stakeholders

As a CFO, you’ll need to communicate regularly with stakeholders, including the board of directors, investors, and employees. You’ll need to share financial results and forecasting data, answer questions, and offer insights into the company’s financial health.

In conclusion, being a new CFO can be overwhelming, but by focusing on these top priorities, you can set yourself up for success. Take the time to understand the financial landscape, set goals, create a budget and forecast, establish financial controls, and communicate with stakeholders, and you’ll be on your way to being an effective and successful CFO.

What Should a CFO Do in First 100 Days

Starting a new job can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. As a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), one of the most critical periods of your role is the first 100 days. The first 100 days of any new job are critical for making a good impression, building relationships, and establishing a great foundation for future success. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your first 100 days as a new CFO.

Review and Understand the Company’s Financials

The first item on your agenda as a new CFO should be to gain an in-depth understanding of the company’s financials. This includes reviewing budgets, balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash flow statements, and other financial reports. This will help you identify key metrics, potential risks, and opportunities for cost savings or revenue generation.

Meet with Key Stakeholders

Building relationships with key stakeholders is fundamental to your success in the role of CFO. Schedule one-on-one meetings with the CEO, fellow executives, board members, and other key personnel in the organization to learn about their goals, expectations, and priorities. This will give you a better understanding of the company’s overall strategy and how you can contribute to achieving the organization’s objectives.

Develop a Thorough Understanding of the Company Culture

Getting to know the company culture will help you adjust and fit into your new organization. Observe how people interact with each other, and familiarize yourself with the company’s values, mission, and vision. This will help you to quickly adapt and align yourself with the company culture.

Assess the Company’s Financial Infrastructure

As a CFO, your role includes identifying gaps in the company’s financial infrastructure and implementing processes to fill those gaps. During your first 100 days, you should assess the company’s financial infrastructure to identify areas of improvement such as improving financial reporting, enhancing financial controls, and optimizing cash management.

Outline Your Strategic Plan

Within your first 100 days as a CFO, you should develop a strategic plan for the company’s finances. This plan should outline the goals and objectives of the finance department for the next few years. It should also include specific initiatives and action steps for achieving these goals. Your strategic plan should align with the overall strategy of the company and include metrics to track progress and success.

In conclusion, the first 100 days as a new CFO are crucial to set the tone for your success in the organization. By following these tips, you can gain a thorough understanding of the company’s financials, build relationships with key stakeholders, assess and improve financial infrastructure, and lead the development of a strategic plan.

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