Three ‘Must-Dos’ for Every CFO

Recently, three leading CFOs in the government contracting community received a top distinction: Each was named finalist for the Group/Division CFO of the Year award presented by the Northern Virginia Technology Council. In advance of the awards ceremony — it’s slated for June 3 at the Ritz-Carlton in McLean, Va. — we asked each of the finalists: What top three things must every CFO in the government contracting community start doing now to stay on top of their game? Here’s what they’re saying:

Marilyn Crouther, EDS

Marilyn CroutherMarilyn Crouther is chief financial officer of U.S. Public Sector at EDS, an HP company — here’s what she’s saying:

1.  Stay focused on clients’ needs: CFOs in the government contracting community should stay keenly focused on our clients’ needs and how to best support their mission. We must carefully align our client priorities and our shareholder responsibilities.

2.  Keep close watch on financial conditions: It is imperative that CFOs stay current on the financial condition of the marketplace in order to remain competitive and drive sound business decisions. Understanding federal and state government budget changes, as well as stimulus package provisions, is also critical.

3.  Stay current on various legislations: Staying current on legislation, policies, and changing marketplace conditions, such as merger and acquisition activity in the government space,  is also a plus.


Dick Galanis, Serco NA

dick-galanisDick Galanis is executive vice president and chief financial officer for Serco North America — here’s what he’s saying:

1. Revisit cost structures and pricing strategies to ensure competitiveness: The competition isn’t standing still so we can’t either. Innovative strategies combined with low cost structures are a winning combination.

2. Instill an atmosphere of continuous improvement around cash flow: There is always more we can do to improve cash flow and it’s everyone’s responsibility to review and implement the necessary changes to make it happen.

3.  Improve efficiency and quality of financial service delivery in support of business operations and key decision making: The finance function needs to provide the most efficient back-office processes possible in order to dedicate the appropriate resources to providing a world-class decision support capability.


Gary A. Shankman, SAIC

Gary ShankmanGary A. Shankman is senior vice president, finance and group controller of the Defense Solutions Group at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) — here’s what he’s saying:

1.  Grow our new business pipeline: The CFO has to be part of the puzzle to make sure we are doing everything we can to win new business. New business is everyone’s job because growing our group creates opportunities for our people.

2.  Create efficiencies: In markets like the ones we are facing, competition will continue to get fiercer. We need to make sure we are operating as efficiently as possible and find ways to control costs so that we can invest in growth opportunities and return value to our stockholders.

3.  Prepare for change: The future is very fluid and the CFO needs to prepare his organization for various different future scenarios and have game plans around those scenarios.

What CFO ‘must-dos’ would you add to the list? Share your comments here.

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