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COVID-19 Advice From a CFO – Sharon Burns

During COVID-19 organisations are identifying expertise gaps in critical areas. As we work through this crisis period we have created a series to focus on these critical areas, with insights from one of our readily available expert Interim Executives. View the full series here.

“In times of crisis, leaders with strong financial and business acumen are critical to steer businesses through ambiguity. The capacity to respond well to extreme change requires adaptive decision making and clear communication” – Sharon Burns


Sharon is a strategic, commercially focused CFO who has operated in the private and public sectors for over 20 years. Sharon has a track record of leading, designing and executing organisational transformation initiatives including business turnarounds, new business lines/start-ups, divestments, customer remediation, industry and regulatory compliance change.

Sharon’s skills, experience and operating style equip her well to play a pivotal role in driving business and customer outcomes:

  • Ability to translate complex business and financial issues to support decision making.
  • Communicate with and engage stakeholders at all levels of the organisation.
  • Leading teams through change by engaging people and taking them on the journey.
  • Develop, execute and track plans to achieve organisational outcomes.
  • Ability to simplify work practices which improves efficiency and increases value to the organisation.
  • Leading and embedding a culture of risk, continuous improvement and innovation.
  • Establishing high-performance teams across multiple geographies using coaching and clear communication.    

Crisis Scenario Experience

Sharon has had both external and internal crisis scenario experience. Externally, this experience includes the GFC and significant regulatory reforms, for example, Stronger Superannuation Reforms and Banking Royal Commission. Sharon’s internal experience includes mergers, acquisitions, divestments and organisational restructures.

The Importance of Communication in a Crisis

As a strategic CFO, Sharon’s key strengths of communication, building relationships and stakeholder engagement differentiate her as an ideal leader in times of disruption and crisis. Sharon believes that in times of change, uncertainty and ambiguity it is clear and regular communication that is key to remove fear, focus teams on the organisation’s priorities and build trust.