The Roles, Duties, and Ethical Responsibilities of the Chief Financial Officer

Posted by on Oct 26, 2012 in Grant Thorton | 1 comment

The Chief Financial Officer’s job is to achieve the institution’s mission while preserving (and enhancing) its assets. In fact, the traditional role of the CFO is being transformed as institutions add new responsibilities to the position and require more expertise from the people who aspire to it. More specifically, there are seven roles—each requiring a different skill set—that educational institutions now expect CFOs to fulfill. These include:

1. Truth Teller
2. Exemplary Manager
3. Maximizer of Resources
4. Guardian of Resources
5. Sheriff
6. Town Crier
7. Institutional Strategist

Read the rest of the article here. Learn more about the seven roles mentioned above, additional duties, and 15 tips to increase your likelihood of being a competent and effective CFO.

About the author: Lawrence R. Ladd is the National Director of Grant Thornton’s Higher Education Practice. Before joining Grant Thornton, he served as Director of Budget and Financial Planning at Harvard University, Dean of Administration at Tufts University, Chief Financial Officer of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Assistant Provost at Boston University, and Assistant to the President of Duke University. His clients have included Alabama State University, Babson College, Beloit College, Boston University, Bowdoin College, Brandeis University, Bucknell University, Case Western Reserve University, Harvard University, Johnson C. Smith University, Macalester College, Pepperdine University, Seton Hall University, University of Alberta, University of Sacramento, Wellesley College, Wesleyan University, Wheaton College, and Yale University.

One Response to “The Roles, Duties, and Ethical Responsibilities of the Chief Financial Officer”

  1. Interesting descriptions of various roles. I’m wondering in which section the attention to the tax obligations of the University might fit into. There is an increased focus on higher education by the IRS and it is critical that teh CFO be aware of this.

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