What is a Chief Financial Officer?
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is the highest-ranking financial professional in an organization and is responsible for the fiscal health of the business. The CFO works with other senior managers and is a vital participant in a company's overall success. They sit at the head of the accounting and finance department and on the executive board, and they often report directly to a CEO or shareholders.
At larger organizations, CFOs will delegate more menial tasks to members of the accounting and finance team in order to focus on setting corporate policies, monitoring investment activities, presenting reports (based on research performed by subordinates) to other executive board members and shareholders. Some of today’s most effective CFOs are those that have a wide range of business experience on their resumes in addition to finance – from operations management to business development to IT and HR.
- Bachelor’s degree in finance, public accounting, economics, public administration, and business administration
- An academic and professional background in finances, economics, and/or analysis
Chief Financial Officer Essential Skills
- Problem solving abilities
- Leadership and communication skills
- Cash Management, Financial Accounting, and Corporate Finance Competence
- A true business partner
- A leader at digital transformation
- A talent management guru
- Adept at decision making and adaptability
- A deep understanding of business
Chief Financial Officer Roles & Responsibilities
- Ensuring accurate historical financial data is collected and presented
- Manage the finance and accounting divisions
- Build a top-notch finance and accounting team
- Ensure revenues and expenses stay in balance
- Oversee financial planning and analysis functions
- Make recommendations on mergers and acquisitions
- Obtain funding
- Consult with boards of directors and the CEO on strategy
- Set technology direction, especially fintech
- Make recommendations on everything from supply chain to marketing based on their fiscal insights and industry knowledge
- Identify and forecast areas of growth and implement policies and procedures to spur future success
- Track cash flow and financial planning
- Analyze the company's financial strengths and weaknesses and propose corrective actions
- Ensure the company’s financial reports are accurate and completed in a timely manner.
- Manage budgets
- Review contracts and prepare financial statements
- Work with department heads to analyze financial data and craft budgets
- Attest to the accuracy of reports