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What it means to be a hospital CFO in Latin America

To be a CFO in Latin America, new economic laws and increased demand in various global markets must be taken into account.

The CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, seeks to manage financial risks, optimize company performance, and ensure adequate cash flow (to say the least).

But to be a CFO in Latin America, there are other aspects that need to be taken into account: new economic laws and increased demand in various global markets. These variables have made financial executives across Latin America integrate new aspects to their positions with the experience and knowledge needed to keep their businesses afloat.

Recently, many Latin American economies have boosted their processes to the forefront of international trade, the health care sector being no exception. One example is a new market developing in Brazil, as well as various reforms and policies and international treaties. These events have turned Latin America into a global appeal with great potential for investment. The region lends itself to acquiring quality raw materials, the establishment of global manufacturing and positioning of strategic centers for the export and import of products.

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More than a numbers game

CFOs have a hand in every element of contract negotiations. Transaction processes, such as payments to subcontractors or suppliers, employees and others, fall under the duty of a CFO. However, with changing markets, the CFO should maintain close relations with sales representatives from other companies, as well as internal stakeholders.

For some companies in Latin America, the CFO not only handles financial sheets and aggregation numbers, he is also involved in each aspect of creating and maintaining the business, financial strategy, and plans in the short- and long-term to maintain a profitable business.

Even small businesses have to think big. For example, Tara Minerals Corp., which generates the cash from the sale of silver, zinc and lead concentrates from its mine and mill at Choix, Mexico, chose David Bizzaro as CFO in 2010. Bizzaro had been the founder and managing partner of the IFC Group, a company that provides outsourced international controllership.

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As CFO, Bizzaro helped lead business efficiency, ensuring a solid foundation that allowed the company to conquer their prospects for sustained growth.

Bizzaro is a good example of the requirements of the new CFO in Latin America. Based on the performance of international markets, Bizzaro is no stranger to working with strategies for long- and short-term. He also feels comfortable with international relations and has helped in the development of financial institutions in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America, working for companies such as NCR, Sprint, AVAYA and ICT Group.

The digitization of corporate finance

Besides being comfortable with international markets around the world, a CFO must be able to incorporate several technological concepts into business strategies. With new technologies come new savings, but only if the CFO is wise enough to know which ones to invest in.

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This balance is crucial. If a company is not upgrading its technologies and products, it becomes irrelevant to clients. However, if too much is spent on technology, the company may have to look to outsourcing and maintenance of new systems to balance costs.

While having vast financial experience is important for a CFO, having entrepreneurial monetary management strategies is vital in today’s modern industry.

Analysts of international markets agree that to be a CFO today, you need to know more than numbers. The CFO is the main financial leader of a hospital who in turn feels at home in front of the board, exchanging information about the company to the media and elsewhere. If a major shareholder or potential partner is interested in knowing about the company's assets and financial position, it should be the CFO that submits information quickly, while giving supporting context. 

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[This article was originally published by our sister brand, Business Review America Latina, and can be found here.]

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