In the past few decades, Chief Financial Officer (commonly abbreviated as CFO) careers have become more and more desirable not only for professionals in the area of finances, but also among companies and corporations. One of the most appealing aspects of this career path is that, as an executive Financial Officer, you are not constrained to a particular field of activity. All major companies and organizations require a Financial Officer that can successfully manage the financial risks related to the specific company. This means that you can find CFO for hire call-outs for domains ranging from technology or advertising to insurance or healthcare and more. Among the many reasons why the job of Chief Financial Officer is the pay check, but also the personal and professional satisfaction of having one of the most significant positions in a company.
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a Financial Officer, you are probably wondering “what does a CFO do?” A complete CFO job description is what you require to understand all aspects of this position. This guide will inform you about everything you need to know regarding a executive Financial Officer career, from learning what responsibilities and attributes are connected to this position, to the education requirements in the CFO job description, average salaries and the job outlook. Learn more about becoming a Financial Officer below.
What Does a CFO Do?
We have all heard of the executive Financial Officer position before and are fairly aware of the importance of this job in a company, but what does a CFO do? Indeed, there are substantial rewards of pursuing a career as a executive Financial Officer, but there are also significant responsibilities that you need to be aware of. Please note that the CFO job description varies from company to company, but there are a few main traits that can be identified:
- Manages financial risks
- Keeps records
- Is responsible for financial strategy and planning
- Carries out financial reporting
- Does data analysis
- Reports to the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and board of directors
- Is responsible for daily financial operations
- Coordinates the activity of the finance departments and accounting departments
- Monitors cash forecasts and balances
These are just a few of the many responsibilities that a Chief Financial Officer has to take care of. Depending on the company or organization, the duties of an executive Financial Officer cover all areas of financial activity of a company.
Chief Financial Officer Training and Education Requirements
An essential aspect that you need to learn about if you are interested in becoming a Chief Financial Officer is the training process. Such a high position in a company requires extended education and preparation, as well as experience that supports financial leadership skills.
Employers require a top level Financial Officer at least a bachelor’s degree in Finance or Accounting plus at least 10 years’ experience in this industry. In most cases, the candidate who will be chosen for the position of executive Financial Officer will have a master’s degree in business administration or accounting. In addition to this, many companies will require the candidate to possess a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) or CMA (Certified Management Accountant).
If you already work in a large organization or company for more than 10 years (or at least in the area of finances and accounting for this period of time) and would like to be promoted to Chief Financial Officer, you should consider a Master’s of Business Administration. Professionals who choose to specialize in Management Degree Program have even higher chances of obtaining the position of an executive level Financial Officer.
However, one of the most critical aspects of advancing to a top level Financial Officer is having experience. Almost all companies will ask for at least 10 years of experience in this area, but most of them will require more.
Chief Financial Officer Salary Averages
As expected, a position with as many responsibilities as an executive level Financial Officer also has considerable rewards. Even though this aspect depends on the company, an executive Financial Officer has a $102,000 median annual salary, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for May 2012. This data applies to executives of corporations, which is the category that a Chief Financial Officer falls under. The differences in salary are usually connected to how large the company is and its key field of activity, but also the state and city it is located in.
The salary of a top level Financial Officer also varies according to the experience and academic background the professional has. In this regard, the more training and experience a Chief Financial Officer has, the larger the salary will be. In addition to this, a top level Financial Officer regularly enjoys bonuses, as well as benefits from the company (such as a car or having a budget for traveling).
CFO for Hire: Chief Financial Officer Outlook
According to statistics, the executive level Financial Officer job outlook will continue to experience an increase in the years to come. As more and more businesses develop into major companies and corporations, they will require a Chief Financial Officer to take care of the financial affairs and risks. Usually the ups and downs for the top level Financial Officer job outlook depends on the trends in this field of activity. In other words, the demand for an executive level Financial Officer will increase in industries that are thriving, but will decline for industries that are experiencing a downfall.
Those who want to pursue a Chief Financial Officer career need to keep in mind that this is a highly demanding position with an abundance of responsibilities. Moreover, there is strong competition among candidates for this position, as the salary and benefits are highly desired. The best way in which you can increase your chances of becoming a Financial Officer is to sharpen your professional skills in the areas of accounting and finance, preferably by studying for new qualifications and certifications. Also, keep in mind the experience required for the position and aim to expand your employment history to become eligible.