Chief Finance Officer success profile

The role of the Chief Finance Officer (CFO), or its equivalent, is critical to agency performance as a key strategic partner and enabler of business outcomes.  

The CFO success profile is a tool for identifying some of the key expectations, accountabilities and suggested experiences necessary for a CFO to be a key strategic partner and enabler of business outcomes. The profile can be used to establish a common understanding and language within and across agencies.

The six expectations contained in the profile are:

  • Understand the organisation’s business and its role in public value creation.
  • Partner with leaders to shape and deliver the organisation’s strategic objectives.
  • Act as a steward of finances and lead by example in promoting integrity and ethical behaviour.
  • Contribute to a shared leadership vision and view of organisational performance.
  • Build functional excellence and business partnership skills within the finance function.
  • Contribute to development of strategy, policy and initiatives across the sector.

Guidelines for measu​ring

To complement the CFO success profile, the accompanying Guidelines for measuring provides agencies with advice on how they can measure the success of the CFO role through its overall impact in terms of ‘Finance process enablers’ and ‘Agency business outcomes’. 

Finance process enablers are the direct responsibility of the CFO and enable an effective finance function, specifically asking—does the agency’s finance function perform in the way the CFO success profile suggests it should?

Agency business outcomes are not directly owned by the CFO but are a result of the impact of the success of the role. The question raised is—does the agency achieve the impact the CFO success profile suggests it should?

To answer the above questions, the most suitable measures of the success of the CFO role will depend on the business activities and objectives of the agency. As each agency and each CFO role is unique, these guidelines are not intended to be either prescriptive or exhaustive. It is therefore recommended that agencies adopt, adapt and add to these suite of measurements, as appropriate. 


Page last updated 23 December 2016