When one thinks about what a Chief Financial Officer does what comes to mind is them overseeing all financial management of company reports, accounting, audits, and taxes. Furthermore they work with top tier management in order to assist with tasks such as financial planning and budgeting towards quarterly and annual targets set by the company. This is a general definition of what a CFO position would entail. However if this is your first time delving into CFO jobs it’s important to know what other responsibilities you may carry at the company to which you’re applying.
The first step towards securing employing in a CFO job is to find out if you’re a candidate. General requirements for such a position include having a degree in Accounting or the experience equivalent, a minimal of five years of experience as a Chief Financial Officer or in a position equivalent, and preferably a Master’s Degree and/or a CPA. If you have none of these three things then the likelihood of you getting hired in a CFO job is none.
Every major company has a CFO and while CFO jobs are plentiful, that doesn’t mean that just anyone can be put in that position. Some companies require their Chief Financial Officer to be more administrative based while other companies will want them to be in more of a management role where they implement financial preparations, liaise with staff accountants to approve financial statements and bank reconciliations, and to track KPMs or Key Performance Metrics.
Not only do CFO jobs require your knowledge to be thorough, well developed, and with the experience to be able to back up your book smarts but you need leadership qualities to be able to assert authority when deemed necessary. You mustn’t be afraid to take control of a situation, act in making decisions, and in delegating responsibilities as needed. Certain CFO jobs will mean for you to act as a company representative at certain corporate functions where you will be expected to publicly represent the organization’s interests passionately and professionally. The ability to build rapport, establish, and maintain key relationships with top level management, peers, and clients is also a great tool to have no matter where you may sit on the company/corporate ladder.
Any CFO job can be broken up into three distinct responsibilities that a Chief Financial Officer must maintain.
#1 – CFO jobs will require you to report accurate and timely historical financial information for the organization that employs you
#2 – CFO jobs will leave you 100% responsible for the company’s financial condition leaving you to make decisions on how and where to invest the company’s funds
#3 – CFO jobs must be able to represent an economic strategy accurate and to be able to forecast into the future on how efficiency can be improved in order to drive up company profits
Ultimately as a Chief Financial Officer you are considered an integral part of the management team and one must not only be experienced but prepared for the task. CFO jobs fall somewhere between a science and an art, and ultimately it comes down to the bottom line – how much money you’re able to make the company that has hired you.
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