The Financial Times series on surviving the downturn focuses this week on CFOs. It includes advice from Feike Sijbesma, CEO of DSM, who suggests that "you need to see how creditable your debtors are, very quickly", and advises that "maintaining a good relationship with your creditors and banks is also critical".
The Key Tips from the article are worth considering by any CFO:
• Cash is king. Monitor it daily.
• Be visible. Raise your profile in the company.
• Rethink bonuses. Make them focused on cash generation.
• Stress test. Will oil prices stay at $50/bbl? Will we see deflation?
• Strike a balance. Be tough, but don't overreact.
CFOs have a vital role in preserving the financial health of the business. They need all the help and support they can get, at this critical time.