The financial department is probably the most important part of any corporation. This is the department where all spending is under evaluation and no financial decision is made without the go ahead of the financial department. The CFO approves protocol decisions in advance for expenses that are necessary for daily operation of the corporation.
He and his close associates still monitor these expenses, however, and can make recommendations on how to save money. The CFO is basically the person in charge when it comes to decisions on the budget. No pay raise takes effect without his approval. The chief financial officer is the major link between the CEO, the board of directors, the individual department managers, and even the stockholders. Financial matters are never handled without the CFO. Regulatory reports and financial reports are usually made or are at least reviewed by the CFO of a corporation.
A CFO has to possess strong financial analysis skills and a lot of common sense. CFOs employed by a hospital or a healthcare organization have to ensure that care is not negatively affected when budget cuts are imposed. Banking experience is often a requirement to be hired as a CFO of just about any corporation, no matter what sector it is in. More than one degree is recommended for the position of CFO. An accounting degree is just the first one for many aspiring CFOs to work on, but a business degree is also essential. The CFO has to be technology savvy and he also has to be familiar with all the operations of a corporation in general, but of the one he works for in particular. Communication technology has to be acquired naturally according to all applications that become available.
CFOs usually have extensive experience with financial matters because of prior positions as treasurer, controller, or audit. Experience in several positions in more than one corporation is definitely a plus for the job of chief financial officer. CFOs need to understand what the big picture of a corporation is and they have to be able to relay the goals to other people. Good social skills are an absolute must for the position of CFO. CFOs have to be able to relate financial issues to employees of all levels of the corporation and beyond. Obviously, this is not a job at an entry level, and most CFOs are middle aged because of the requirement of lengthy experience in the workforce.
Career prospects are great for qualified CFOs. American corporations are found all over the globe and that is an incentive for those who aspire to have international work experience. Chief financial officer is usually one of the highest-paid positions in the corporation. It is also one of the most-demanding positions.
The work can be very stressful and the responsibility is enormous. When things go wrong financially everybody in the corporation watches the moves of the CFO, including the stock holders. The CFO’s name is mentioned in all financial reports and those investors who do great on the stock market often investigate who the current CFO is of a corporation before they buy the actual stock.