Job Profile of Chief Financial Officer
The role of a CFO (Chief Financial officer) is to supervise the financial aspects of a company. He or she works under the company's CEO (Chief Executive Officer).
They are responsible for supervising the accounting and administrative functions of a company that includes finalizing the budget too. Thus, CFOs are responsible for investments and real estate related decisions of the company.
- They should ensure that the company abides by the federal and state regulations.
- They should be aware of the taxes that need to be paid.
- They are the approving authority for reports and annual financial statements.
- They will be present at stockholders meetings for answering all finance related queries.
- They are also responsible for managing a company's accounting division.
Academic: Prospective CFOs should graduate with a finance degree from a University or College that is accredited and reputed. Though some candidates prefer to complete a master's degree in finance, many feel that a bachelor's degree is sufficient. Instead of signing up for a master's degree in Finance, the other option is to pursue management courses since it offers a better perspective as compared to master's degrees.
Skill sets: You need to appear for the examination that is conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). AICPA is associated with CPA organizations of various states. When you successfully complete the examination, you will become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), by satisfying the requirements that are currently in vogue. For information on the basic requirements, the country's or state's 'Board of Accountancy' is to be contacted. In general, to become a CPA, you should also have some accounting experience. Details about prior experience may not be the same and may depend upon specific guidelines mentioned by different employers.
Training: No training course is ample enough to properly prepare a person for the CFO Job. It requires many years of relevant experience. The finance domain is related to many factors and tax laws and it takes many years to master all such field specific intricacies. Many companies do place emphasis on foreign degrees or internship at foreign universities, as it helps in fulfilling the job requirements of multinational companies. Thus, the investment in high quality education depends on the candidate's aim in life. Some multinationals value reputed local degrees at par with foreign degrees. This benefits all those who cannot afford education abroad but at the same time have high career aspirations.
Prior experience: Experience is valuable in any profession and this applies to finance jobs too. You have to aim to gain mastery in business strategies, business trends that are in vogue globally, key skills related to management in addition to leadership skills. Before becoming CFOs, candidates normally hold posts like 'Assistant Vice President' (Finance) and 'Vice President' (Finance).
Career prospects (globally): You can find CFO Job openings in a number of ways you can make use of reputed websites that deal with finance related jobs. Some websites will not be related to finance jobs alone but still they will have some good CFO jobs. You will also be able to locate a good CFO Job opening now and then in magazines and newspapers as well.
Moreover, as these are highly prestigious and lucrative positions there is always a lot of competition in the field. Though a number of openings may exist but candidates may have to face stern interview processes. The growth rate is anticipated to be at par with that of most other executive jobs through the next decade.
Salaries: While there is no doubt that CFOs have the potential to earn satisfactory salaries, they should choose industries that pay better compared to other industries. The average income that ‘United States Bureau of Labor Statistics' specifies as of the year 2008 is close to $160,000. Some industries have the practice of paying a much higher salary, in excess $200,000. Another tip is to choose big companies, since they too have the practice of offering generally high salaries. This is because the revenue of big companies is much more than the profits earned by smaller companies. The salary also depends on the geographic location. Public and private sector have different payment structures.
CFO jobs demand quality knowledge and experience in the finance domain. Since, managing finance is a key element for a company's success, there is lot of importance attached to this job. Finance is tied to business strategies as well and so candidates who aspire to become CFOs should have business acumen too.