Today’s businesses find themselves immersed in a sea of data. Some of this data comes from traditional sources such as financial reports, accounts receivable, and payroll, but many businesses also have to manage advanced reporting data related to online marketing, sales, and other disparate processes. 

In this climate, top-performing organizations rely on the right leaders to manage data and help drive the decision-making process. This is the role of the CFOO.

The CFOO, or chief financial & operating officer, is responsible for managing complex systems and streamlining data to contribute to organizational strategy. This guide will introduce you to the role and explore how a CFOO can contribute to your business ecosystem.

What Is a CFOO?

In larger organizations, it’s common to have separate roles for the chief financial officer (CFO) and chief organizational officer (COO). But small to midsize companies often have to rely on one individual who can handle both sets of responsibilities. Thus, you may often hear job titles that include:

  • Chief financial & operating officer (CFOO)
  • CFO/COO combination
  • C-Foo

The CFOO role (pronounced C-F-O-O or “C-foo”) offers a natural vantage point to survey the company’s overall organization and performance. It’s no wonder, then, that the CFOO often serves as a strategic partner to the company CEO, even more so than the CFO alone. 

While the CEO and management team are responsible for crafting the company vision, the CFOO has a critical role in supporting the vision by providing the operational framework to make it happen.

In other words, the CFOO is where the rubber meets the road in terms of the implementation of corporate strategy.

How Common Are CFOOs?

CFOOs often operate in sectors that include healthcare, technology, and nonprofits. But a CFOO can be a valuable asset for any organization or industry.

Statistically speaking, the CFOO role is still a relatively small one, at least compared to the more common CFO and COO roles. According to LinkedIn, CFOs and COOs are generally evenly distributed, while CFOOs are still a minority:

  • CFOs: 270,000 globally, 520,000 in the U.S.
  • COOs: 260,000 globally, 540,000 in the U.S.
  • CFOOs: 3,000 globally, 2,000 in the U.S.

These numbers may at least partly reflect the tendency of larger organizations to rely on separate roles for CFO and COO. But the combined role has certain strategic advantages that can benefit small to midsize businesses.

The Advantages of a CFOO

The CFOO brings a degree of synergy between upper-level management and the team on the ground. Here are just a few of the ways that a CFOO can transform a typical business.

CFOOs Can Improve Marketing Performance

With the increased emphasis on online presence and social media marketing, a CFOO can help manage the sales funnel by improving marketing performance. 

Specifically, a CFOO can assist with the development and leveraging of content marketing, blog posts, videos, and more. This also means managing the data needed to evaluate these efforts and adjusting strategies accordingly.

CFOOs Augment the Sales Process

Technology companies especially have to focus on sales efficiency. CFOOs can improve efficiency by empowering the sales team through intensive training and overseeing the creation of materials to better educate customers on the company’s products. 

CFOOs can also seek out automation that can minimize errors and reduce labor costs.

CFOOs Help Connect with the Customer

CFOOs implement the tools needed to monitor and measure customer behavior. 

This monitoring can have a predictive function, helping leaders devise and refine sales strategies for maximum retention. But it can also assist in product development — designers can craft products that match their customers’ needs and even develop new products and functions based on customer feedback.

CFOOs Streamline General and Administrative Processes

In many ways, few company employees have the comprehensive vantage point of a CFOO. The role is uniquely suited to evaluate the organization’s core processes, including the sales cycle, customer monitoring, marketing, and product development. 

The CFOO, therefore, has a role in evaluating the company’s effectiveness by relying on insights gleaned from real-time data.

CFOOs Add Value for Your Clients

Customers will notice the difference. Combining the roles of CFO and COO will bring about an increased level of efficiency that helps you better connect with your target market as you incorporate their feedback into your products and services. 

This increased efficiency can even bring down costs, giving you a competitive edge in today’s crowded marketplace.

Meet the CFOO

To learn more, join us for our next Meet the Controller/Meet the CFO Interview Series. You’ll hear from John Bozin, CFO of Armanino Strategic Finance Outsourcing (SFO) and CFOO specialist. John will share insights from his considerable experience in the business community, bringing valuable advice to aspiring and seasoned executives.

The interview takes place on Monday, November 21, from 2 to 3 p.m. EST. Register now to confirm your spot, and mark your calendar for this incredible opportunity.

Meet the CFO - Interview Series - Shannon NashWebinar Thursday, September 29

The next interview in the series features Shannon Nash, CFO of Wing, the drone delivery unit of Google parent company Alphabet. Shannon is a CPA, and a recovering attorney with a JD.