What's it like to be a Chief Financial Officer?
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is one of the highest-ranking executives in a company, and reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Although the role of the CFO will differ from organisation to organisation, their main responsibility is to manage the company’s finances, including profit and loss reporting, budget allocation, financial forecasting and financial risk management.
Tasks and duties
- Financial planning.
- Managing the finance and accounting team.
- Providing the executive leadership with expert financial advice and proposing new financial strategies.
- Producing the company’s financial reports including profit and loss statements and balance sheets.
- Managing financial forecasting and allocating budgets.
- Approving business cases.
- Monitoring cashflow.
CFOs tend to have strong leadership skills, as well as sound judgement and a proven track record of success over time in the area of financial management.
A CFO must possess strong interpersonal and communication skills, both verbally and written and must be able to engage with staff at all levels of an organisation. In publicly listed companies the CFO is often required to represent the company at investor relations meetings.
What can I earn as a Chief Financial Officer?
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How to become a Chief Financial Officer
- Complete a bachelor degree in accounting, finance, business or economics.
- Complete a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination or a Master of Business Administration (MBA).
- Gain extensive work experience in a leadership capacity in the financial area of a company. In small and medium companies, you may become a CFO with 10 years of experience, where as in larger companies it can take much longer.