Introduction to CFO Job Description
The following article provides an outline for CFO Job Description. The CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is one of the senior executives of any company and is responsible for managing the company’s financial matters. A CFO needs to work closely with the other senior executives of the company, such as the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) and COO (Chief Operating Officer). These CXOs together are called the “C-Suite” and represent the highest level of decision-makers within the company.
The CFO holds one of the highest and critical positions in an organization. A person in this position is usually backed by a wealth of experience and strong industry expertise. The role of CFOs becomes very important during economic downturns because these people possess the capability and knowledge to bring the company out of the financial tension. Hence, companies seldom let go of the good CFOs and intend to retain them for a long tenure.
The duties and responsibilities of a CFO largely include cash flow monitoring, financial planning, analysis of the company’s financial position, and recommendation of corrective measures. Essentially, the role of a CFO is close to that of a controller or treasurer who manages the finance & accounting division and ensures that the company’s financial reporting are accurate and over within the stipulated timeline.
Duties and Responsibilities of a CFO
In an organization, a CFO is often required to take up multiple roles, which include that of a leader, financial advisor, and strategist. The following provides a comprehensive list (but not limited to) of duties and responsibilities of a CFO in detail description.
- Take lead and develop a continuous evaluation of both short-term and long-term financial strategies to ensure achievement of company objectives.
- Provide timely and detailed analysis of budgets, forecasts, and financial trends, and maintain the credibility of the Finance department.
- Take a leadership position in the development, implementation, and maintenance of a comprehensive job cost system.
- Guide and supervise all activities pertaining to the Finance & Accounting department of the organization.
- Evaluate and advise on the long-term impacts of financial planning, the launch of new products or strategies, and regulatory actions.
- Maintain strong relationships with the senior executives by identifying their needs and providing a wide range of business solutions.
- Brief the senior management on the short-term and long-term financial implications of the ongoing and upcoming business activities.
- Evaluate company performance and recommend improvements that can be employed to enhance performance and develop new business opportunities.
- Implement effective internal controls within the organization and ensure compliance with the control guidelines.
- Ensure adherence to applicable accounting standards (such as US GAAP or IFRS), federal, state, and local regulatory laws and rules for financial reporting.
This list (not exhaustive) gives a brief look into the day-to-day responsibilities of a CFO. However, the duties and responsibilities of a CFO may vary depending on the organizational needs and goals.
Job Qualifications and Requirements of a CFO
In general, the position of a CFO is reserved for very highly experienced professionals with an established track records, strong industry knowledge, and advanced education. To be precise, a CFO must satisfy the following requirements:
- A master’s degree in business administration, accounting, or similar discipline is a must. Typically, candidates with an MBA in Finance or professional certifications, such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Management Accountant (CMA), etc. are preferable to candidates without any advanced educational degree.
- Must have more than 10 years of experience managing the financial department of a major company or handling a division of a large corporation.
- Should possess a high level of written and oral communication skills that will be useful in connecting with the executive and senior management team.
Skills Required for a CFO Job
The role of a CFO is very critical to the success of an organization because a CFO is required to understand the company’s overall financial position, deal with the identified shortcomings, prepare the financial reports, and communicate it to the stakeholders. Hence, a CFO is required to possess a range of skills, which include both technical and people skills.
- Leadership: The CFO is a senior-level executive who invariably is required to lead a team of several members. Therefore, leadership is an essential skill for a CFO who often needs to advise the team and bring the best out of them whenever required.
- Understanding: Deep understanding of the company’s operations is a must for a CFO to ensure suitable financial decisions at each functional level.
- Planning: A CFO needs to be exceptional in short-term and long-term planning. Ability to develop far-sighted strategies and ensure their execution is instrumental in the achievement of the company’s financial goals.
- Good communication: A CFO is not only the face of the financial department within the company but is the face of the company to the external stakeholders. So, good communication is an important skill for a CFO to be able to deal with all the stakeholders.
- Technical knowledge: The CFO should possess sound technical knowledge in finance so that correct financial decision can be taken.
- Risk Management: The CFO of an organization is also expected to manage the risks associated with the activities of the Finance department.
Conclusion – CFO Job Description
The role of a CFO has evolved over time and has undergone a lot of changes due to change in the industry structure. To become the CFO of a company one needs to put in a lot of effort, besides having sound knowledge and strong leadership skills. The CFOs need to think from both financial and operational perspectives, and hence they need to be abreast with the latest industry trends that can be key to their success in the role.
This is a guide to CFO Job Description. Here we also discuss the duties and responsibilities of the CFO, with the Job Qualifications and Requirements, Skills required. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –