Over the past 20 years, private equity has shifted from a focus on financial engineering as a core returns driver to one based on fundamental strategic and operational improvement. This brings with it burgeoning expectations on the portfolio company chief financial officer to drive operational and financial efficiency and proactively develop related analytics and KPIs to track, report, benchmark and course correct.

CFOs of private companies are expected to be financial scorekeepers — closing the books every quarter and releasing financial statements on time — but the expectations skyrocket under private equity ownership. PE-backed CFOs are expected to improve foundational operational and financial processes, such as stakeholder/board reporting, budget forecasting and cost optimization, as well as key operational and technical accounting practices, such as IPO readiness, SOX compliance and GAAP/IFRS conversions, all while serving as strategic business partners to stakeholders across the entire organization.

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