Financial Leadership


Over the last few years, the CFO’s role has been undergoing a paradigm shift. Among the most important factors affecting this shift are new developments in international accounting, continuing standardisation of accounting guidelines, and added demand for integrated accounting.

While in the past, management decisions were primarily based on information produced by the internal accounting department, nowadays external accounting information (following IFRS) and developments in capital and financial markets are becoming increasingly important for the financial leadership of corporations. The resulting new requirements for the function of CFO are the core subjects of the financial leadership research focus.

In the context of this research focus, 130 CFOs of Austrian companies were interviewed. The survey inquired how they manage their businesses, which professional requirements CFOs have to satisfy, what skills and competencies they need, and their input on the CFO’s function as a future role model. The scientific analysis produced several surprising findings, such as the increasing importance of communicative and entrepreneurial skills as well as ethical conduct. The results of the study were the basis for the design of a master’s programme that is dedicated to the training of CFOs. They were presented in Europe and the U.S. at academic conferences and made available to the public in the book entitled Financial Leadership - Vom Experten zum CFO (2013, Linde International).

Book: Financial Leadership

Published on March 26, 2013 by Linde International, this work contributes to the underexplored topic of financial leadership. It will appeal to people who hold a financial or general management position, or aim for such a post. It is also designed to function as a textbook for students in master’s programmes with this focus. It should also serve as further reading on the subject of financial leadership for controllers and CFOs.

More information is provided here.


FH-Prof. Dr. Karl Zehetner
Währinger Gürtel 97
1180 Vienna

Phone: + 43 (1) 476 77-5813

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