The CFO is a very unique role in comparison to many others. The CFO is the foremost authority on finance within the company. They’re at the top of the food chain within their specialty area, and typically they report directly to the CEO and the board.
As a CFO, keeping yourself up to speed with trends, industry insights, business risk and the wider business landscape is critical. This makes it important to take the responsibility upon yourself to consult external resources, both locally and across the globe.
In this series, we talk with CFOs to find out what they’re reading, and why they’re reading it. First up, we speak with Lotto CFO, Dan Balasoglou, who gave us an insight into his daily content consumption.
Dan – what do you read at work?
A lot of business and finance sites. Business sites help me keep current with broader business trends and issues impacting the economy and the organisation. This helps with conversations I have with the CEO, Board and colleagues on subjects that are traditionally outside of finance.
As a rule of thumb I start the day reading through a daily market email update, which covers a broad range of business news highlights, with links through to the full article from the usual media platforms such as NBR, Stuff, NZ Herald and the like. When I make the time, I find the Harvard Business Review articles interesting.
Finance sites keep me up to date with the accounting practice although these seem to have moved away from traditional technical accounting discussions to more practical business articles. The paper version of ‘In the Black’ from CPA Australia is a regular read for me.
What do you read outside of work? Specifically, what would you call your bedtime reading?
News and sports mainly. I use the One News app as it gives a quick overview of what’s happened in the day and is delivered through video content, which is easy to absorb.
I am always part through one paper based business / leadership book, of which I will read a few chapters when I have time.
I’m not sure I take the view of ‘most trusted’ as a rule of thumb regarding what I read, it’s more what is able to be delivered conveniently to me. Daily market updates and tailored news articles delivered automatically according to pre-set preferences seem to work.
Are there any particular topics (derivatives, trading etc.) that you feel are particularly important for a CFO to be updated on?
For me, it depends on the industry I am in and the structure of the organisation. However, I always attend one of the quarterly economic updates from the major banks as that gives a good broad update on the New Zealand and global economies, in regards to things like inflation, exchange and interest rates, and forecasts.
Outside of just finance focused news, what other news areas or topics do you feel are important for a CFO to keep up to date with?
Digital developments and customer behaviour are big ones currently. These are prominent topics in the finance sector at the moment, so knowing what’s going on is crucial in order to understand trends and changes within the industry and the business world as a whole.