Congratulations to Bob Arace, chief financial officer at Newington, Conn.-based Arburg Inc., who was named CFO of the year in the medium-sized, private company category, by the Hartford Business Journal. The HBJ's story about Arace highlights the role of a modern CFO, which goes beyond being "merely the top financial person in the company, the one who watched costs, watched the bottom line."
"Back around the late 1980s,'' Arace said, "the title was probably still viewed as a way to reward a good controller as a good accountant. That person now is viewed as a business partner by the president and vice presidents in most companies.'' "I'm involved in much more than the traditional finance functions. I'm involved in human resources. I'm involved in strategy for the company. I have responsibility for our computer systems, insurance, banking and legal. I'm involved in the sales process and, in fact, occasionally go out on sales calls. It's a lot. Today, a CFO needs to be a well-rounded business person and a very engaged partner to the management team."It's a nice story, and a good opportunity for a CFO -- a important position at manufacturing companies, but often behind the scenes -- to take the spotlight.