Brandon Smith

PODCAST: CFOs turning into ‘heavy thinkers’

Financial leaders now more involved with strategic discussions.

May 23, 2019

Chief financial officers (CFO) are no longer solely number crunchers. Instead, they’re increasingly being asked to get more involved in the credit union’s strategic mission.

“It helps us think a little bit differently about the kind of work we do and to be more focused on big picture work,” says Brandon Smith, CFO at $131 million asset Reliant Federal Credit Union in Casper, Wyo. “We’re naturally pretty good at detail and digging into the weeds, but when you have to think about things in bigger terms, I think that’s good for us.”

Having these “heavy thinkers” involved in strategy discussions benefits the credit union, Smith says. CFOs who think creatively and innovatively can also perform further research and analyze data that impacts the strategies being discussed.

“It puts some meat and teeth into a lot of the discussions,” says Smith, a member of the CUNA Finance Council Executive Committee. “We should think big, but it’s great to go back and qualify it or try to figure out how to make real plans.”

Smith talks about the changing role of the CFO, how CFOs use data, the issues CFOs are paying attention, and more in this episode of the CUNA News Podcast.

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