A Chief Financial Officer or CFO, one of the most prominent positions among management executives and top officers in a company, is responsible for all financial and fiscal management aspects of company operations. They provide leadership and coordination in the administrative, business planning, accounting and budgeting efforts of the company. The job consists of all tasks related to handling finances of the company. Professionals working as CFOs are proficient in financial management, budgeting, and allocating monetary resources appropriately; thus making their services required in banks, companies, banks, and other business entities.
A CFO participates in all types of management activities. They have to attend meetings with the top management to suggest and develop growth plans for the organization. This involves increasing the profit levels and employee strength. Part of a CFOs responsibility is to develop tools and systems to provide critical financial and operational information to the CEO. They participate in making key decisions that would involve all financial aspects of a company. Aside from that, they are also responsible for preparing regular financial reports and analyzing its results. They also oversee all accounting activities such as preparing financial statements, reviewing all month-end closing activities including general ledger maintenance and balance sheet reconciliations, and implementing financial and accounting systems. Key tasks of a CFO include strategizing; executive management; financial planning and analysis; supervising accounting activities; cash management; contribute to corporate development; managing the company’s insurance, real estate, and legal affairs; overseeing finances; representing the company to investors; coordinating the development and monitoring of budgets; ensuring proper maintenance of all accounting systems; coordinating audits and proper filing of tax returns to ensure legal and regulatory compliance regarding all financial functions; and managing his team of employees.
Education and Training Requirements
A Chief Financial Officer should have a master’s degree in accounting or business administration, or equivalent business experience and 10+ years of progressively responsible experience for a major company or division of a large corporation. They must be experienced in partnering with an executive team, and has a high level of written and oral communication skills. Candidates with an MBA in Finance or Accounting, and has a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant designation are mostly preferred.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements
To be a successful CFO, one must have strong interpersonal, problem solving, and creative skills. They should be able to exercise sound judgment and make decisions based on accurate and timely analyses. CFOs should have a high level of integrity and dependability with a strong sense of urgency, and is results-oriented. Computer proficiency is also essential as they will be working with a lot of financial documents. It may also be necessary to learn a new language if the company has extensive overseas operation.
CFOs normally work in an office environment. It may also be necessary to travel extensively to company subsidiaries, as well as for investor road shows. Their work may also require occasional weekend and/or evening work.
Being from the top management of the company, CFOs earn somewhere around $88,000. Those with less than a year’s experience as a CFO can expect salaries ranging from $50,500 to $104,000 a year. Those with five to nine years of experience receive anywhere from $66,000 to $121,000 per annum. The salary also varies depending on the industry they are employed. Those in financial services have a pay range of $100,000 to $173,000, while those in manufacturing and distribution industry receive between $92,000 and $153,000.