CFOs distinguish themselves by the cost management practices they implement in their organization – from choosing to eliminate negative cost management practices that drag down earnings, to employing positive ones that increase revenue and profits. Cost optimization is not a new topic for finance leaders, but the practice has taken on new dimensions with the help of sophisticated tools and technologies. CFOs are now operating in a challenging environment where costs have outpaced revenue. Gartner research showed the average shareholder return among companies that employed a balanced approach was 7% higher than their peers. But what role does the CFO play in effectively managing the cost piece of the balanced approach?