The chief financial officer is accountable for the administrative, financial, and risk management operations of the company, to include the development of a financial and operational strategy, metrics tied to that strategy, and the ongoing development and monitoring of control systems designed to preserve company assets and report accurate financial results.
Step by step guide to becoming a chief financial officer (CFO)
What does a CFO do?
Today’s CFOs are expected to play four diverse and challenging roles. The two traditional roles are steward, preserving the assets of the organization by minimizing risk and getting the books right, and operator, running a tight finance operation that is efficient and effective. It’s increasingly important for CFOs to be strategists, helping to shape overall strategy and direction, and catalysts, instilling a financial approach and mind set throughout the organization to help other parts of the business perform better.
These varied roles make a CFO’s job more complex than ever.
What kind of skills are required?
The role of the CFO is rapidly changing. A chief financial officer can no longer simply rely on crunching numbers while focusing solely on a company’s balance sheet.
To succeed from here on, CFOs will need to shift their focus towards analytics, people management, disruptive technology, and several other crucial and newly forming variables.
- CFOs must become analytics wizards.
- CFOs must manage an increasing amount of risk.
- CFOs must adapt to new technology.
- CFOs must become better at managing people.
- The CFO of the future must guide decisions in a politically charged atmosphere.
- CFOs must manage big data as a large part of business operations.
- CFOs will make effective decisions with analytics from outside of the enterprise.
- CFOs need to understand business drivers and the underlying non-financial information that drives the financials of their company.
- Hiring decisions will become a major part of the job for future CFOs.
- Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
- Gain broad financial experience
- Expand your business and financial experience
- Widen your customer service experience
- Broaden your understanding of technology
- Earn a CPA or MBA
- Consider controller or treasury positions
- Prepare to take on expanded roles