Company Plans for the Future

No company can hope to do well and be successful in the future unless they make plans for that future and hopefully make the correct plans. It is of course the Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO’s) responsibility to provide the plans for a company’s future but often they will rely strongly on assistance from their Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Many people mistakenly believe that a CFO’s job is just dealing with current and past financial transactions of a company but the reality is that although they do of course deal with that, the vast majority of a CFO’s time is spent in planning the finances for the company’s future. In order to best be able to do this, it is an advantage if the CFO is experienced in the line of business the company is in as that can be of great benefit when advising a CEO. Some corporations like the Scholastic Corporation, an American international publishing corporation, have CFOs that are ideally qualified for their positions with the corporations and as such are able to offer the CEOs expert advice which the CEOs often follow to the benefit of the company. Scholastic’s CFO is Maureen O’Connell, who if you look at you will see is well experienced in working with publishing companies and so is able to give good and pertinent advice to its CEO. From 1998 to 2000, O’Connell had been CFO and Vice President of the Publishers Clearing House and in 2000 until 2002 O’Connell had been the CFO and Chief Administration Officer (CAO) for the prestigious publishing company Barnes and Noble. In other years she had also held other positions of importance, mainly in other publishing companies including being the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) for Gartner Inc. This is a very strong resume for someone seeking the position of CFO for any publishing company and Scholastic have shown their appreciation by also making O’Connell an Executive Vice President and Chief Administrations Officer (CAO). O’Connell has now been with Scholastic since 2007 and is doing such a good job she is acknowledged as being one of the most successful CFOs in the country today. O’Connell is well known for being very outspoken especially in regards to the positions of CFOs in companies and is often heard to as referring to the initials CFO as meaning Chief Futures Officer rather than Chief Financial officer, an indication as to how much she believes the post is more about the future finances of a company than it is the current or previous financial transactions. This is now becoming so widely accepted that more and more companies, when looking for a CFO, are taking as much notice of where someone has worked before as they do of the potential CFOs experience in accounting. The CFOs job will though still include the overall assurance that all the company’s finances are correctly recorded and that those records are in accordance with current regulations and that they are easily understood.

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