Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is an individual in charge of financial well-being of the organization by developing financial projections and accounts services, and preparing financial growth plans. Chief Financial Officer is responsible for financial, administrative and risk management operations.
Being the member of the executive management team, Chief Financial Officer reports to the board members and have a very key strategic role on overall operation of the organization. Chief Financial Officers have to perform wide variety of functions ranging from day to day administrative works to taking crucial financial decision.
Basic roles, duties & responsibilities of CFO
So, what does a CFO do? Here we have summed up basic roles, duties or responsibilities of CFO in an organization:
- Formulate and implement organization’s financial goals
- Supervise day to day financial activities
- Manage investment of funds
- Manage mergers and acquisitions
- Oversee preparation of annual budget
- Forecast and analyze business risks and growths
- Manage accounts receivable and payable
- Approve bank reconciliations
- Recruit and manage employees in financial department
Given the seniority of the rank, a CFO has to carry out wide assortment of jobs to ensure smooth financial operation and management of company. The duties and responsibilities vary largely from organization to organization.
Employers of Chief Financial Officers
- Banks and financial institutions
- Public Organizations
- Hospital and private clinics
- Educational institutes
- Corporate businesses
- Charity Organizations
All organizations need and seek a CFO to ensure that all the financial operations and management take place smoothly and solidify company’s position in the market.
Qualification and Training
The first step in your road to be a Chief Financial Officer is to earn a bachelor’s degree. A degree in finance or business is most preferred. CFOs come from diverse academic background but have specialization in at least one finance related subject. Most COFs also have a post graduate degree in business administration. A MBA or related degree is not a compulsion but it gives you a competitive advantage
You have to work in the field of your choice for at least 6 to 8 years in finance-related management positions. As you gain necessary skills and experiences, you will move to higher positions with higher responsibilities.
After you have garnered necessary skills and experiences along with educational qualifications, you can apply for the CFO position. Networking is a very essential part on your road to being a Chief Financial Officer. You have to take full advantage of your personal and professional contacts to land yourself a job as Chief Financial Officer.
Firstly, you may have to start as CFO of a smaller organization. If that organization fairs well under your leadership you may get job offers from larger organizations.
Required skills or job specifications for CFOs
The position of Chief Executive Officer (CFO) is not as alluring as it may seem. There are many vital tasks to perform for which one must build up certain skills:
- Good communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to work under pressure
- Strong influencing personality
- Ability to inspire
- Strong leadership skills
- Problem solving abilities
- Good judgment
- Ability to make good negotiations
- Ability to build good rapport