WALL STREET JOURNAL FINANCE CHIEFS EXPAND ROLES by DANA MATTIOLI In the wake of the recession, more chief financial officers are expanding their role beyond finance. Long seen as the overseer of a company's books, finance chiefs have been getting more deeply involved in business strategy, deciding where to invest capital and even looking at a company's product mix. They're also taking on new responsibilities: overseeing divisions like information technology, production, customer service and human resources. The change comes as companies put more emphasis on controlling costs, seeking input from finance chiefs as the companies try to manage revenue growth more closely during a tentative economic recovery. Nancy Cooper, finance chief of software developer CA Technologies , based in Islandia, N.Y., now finds herself at marketing meetings. "I'm working pretty closely with marketing people trying to determine where we'll spend money and what's the payback on it," she says. Ms. Cooper says she sometimes has to pare what a marketing employee wants to spend on certain projects, which has generated more than a few eye rolls. But, she says, once she explains the limits on spending, employees usually understand. While companies longed have groomed finance chiefs for bigger leadership roles by expanding their responsibilities, the recent trend is more about navigating through a shaky recovery. For years, companies managed finance during long periods of
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This document was uploaded on 11/03/2011 for the course FIN 3100 at Kennesaw.