The Bottom Line: Ignoring risk management is risky business

The Bottom Line: Ignoring risk management is risky business

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Risk management

Risk Management Should Be a Higher Priority for CFOs

Yeah, you read that title right. I'm adding more to your to do list today. Well, technically is adding to your list. I'm just the messenger. Let's unwrap what they're talking about...

Today, companies are exposed to more risk than ever before — from cybersecurity to geopolitical pressure and a ton of other risks. That's not an ideal situation. But, the good news is that we've got more data on these risks than ever before.

With all that data available, companies need someone to tackle the data analysis and turn that into insights on risk management. And who better to take on that project than a CFO?

This isn't a small issue either. says that only 20% of companies have successfully integrated risk management into their business and strategic planning.

To sum it up so far...risk is increasing, there's more data available to handle it, but very few companies are doing anything about it. With me so far? Good.

At this point, you're probably saying, "K, let's just hire a data analyst or risk management pro." Well, the US economy needs 150,000 more of those than what's available so that's easier said than done.

That's just another reason the CFO and other finance functions should tackle risk management. You're already skilled in data analysis, so it's not a huge stretch to handle risk management. Plus, don't forget that by 2021, 45% of finance tasks will be automated. It never hurts to add to your skillset.

More on the topic from in the linked article:


Personal branding

Make Yourself In-Demand: How Finance Leaders Do Personal Branding

If you know anything about me, I'm a huge proponent of personal branding. If you're not familiar with the term, here's a quick definition: Personal branding is basically just marketing yourself and your career.

It might not sound like something that makes sense for a finance professional, but having a strong personal brand can open up job opportunities, new business opps, speaking opportunities, and a lot more.

Two points about creating a personal brand before I go further...

  1. The goal is to highlight your wins, not brag about your accomplishments
  2. It takes time to build one so you might as well start now

In this post from Abacus, they break down personal branding into four tiers:

Invisible: Your skills are quiet and anonymous — even in your own company.
Hiding: Your work is recognized, but only in your org.
Emerging: A core network of people know your capabilities.
In-Demand: You’re well known in your niche, and a source of knowledge for other companies.

The old preference of being in the "Invisible" and "Hiding" tiers just isn't going to cut it anymore. And, as finance roles evolve from number cruncher to forward thinking strategist, it's important to brand yourself as such. Even if you're not looking to leave your company, having a strong personal brand will only make you more valuable to them.

More to learn from Abacus…


The Hit List

Here's a few things that caught my eye this week...

1) Love this piece from McKinsey about how to build a team focused on innovation: Fielding high-performing innovation teams.

2) From FEI: The Holy Grail: Aligning HR and Finance in Your Planning Process

3) I've been writing a lot about finance being more of a strategic role. Here's how Teampay defines strategic finance.

Pick of the Week

2018 was a big year for

– 786% revenue growth
– 4.8 star highest rated corp travel app
– Launched partnership w/ American Express Global Business Travel

Check out my video for more...

2018 at

About the Author: Mike Volpe
Mike is the CEO of and an active member of the startup community as a board member at Validity and Privy, and as an angel investor in more than 40 startups. Before Lola he held executive positions at HubSpot and Cybereason.