A CFO, or chief financial officer, is the highest-ranked financial figure in an organization who is responsible for the financial stability of a business. A CFO has several responsibilities, including (but not limited to):
CFOs help in setting up the technology trends and bring recommendations on everything from supply chain to sales and marketing based on financial insights and industrial knowledge. CFOs are futurists who work closely with the leadership to propose strategic moves by keeping the future in mind.
As a top financial position in any organization, CFOs are accountable to CEOs, as well as regulatory authorities and the organization.
CFO stands for Chief Financial Officer.
The role of the CFO in an organization is to oversee the organization’s financial operations by being responsible for the accounting and finance professionals to perform operational tasks and serve the role of strategic advisory.
A CFO helps the skilled staff for finance and works with the departments to allocate and manage the budget for managing human capital. CFO has the responsibility to put the complex data from the past, present, and future in perspective to help the CEO to make better decisions.
From a broader perspective, CFO responsibilities include overseeing:
Here’s a closer look at each of these CFO responsibilities and how a chief financial officer manages them
Liquidity is an organization’s ability to pay off short-term liabilities with readily available funds. It is stated as a percentage of what the company owes against what it owns. CFOs make sure that customer payments are made on time and control expenses so that the on-hand cash is enough to meet the financial responsibilities.
A CFO is required to make sure a strong return of investment (ROI) for the organization. ROI measures the possibility of receiving a return on the invested money. ROI is a comparatively basic KPI, and it does not bring in all the variables, so the CFOs add perspective for evaluation to see if a project can deliver robust ROI to become worth the investment.
CFOs play an important role in an organization with the ability to predict future outcomes accurately. This includes the financial modeling and forecasting not based on the company’s past performance but on the external and internal factors that can affect the expenses and revenue. CFO is responsible for making sense of the department-level forecasting for creating a profit estimate for shareholders and the company’s CEO.
CFO is the Incharge of attesting the financial reports according to the accounting principles like balance sheets and cash flow statements that help the stakeholders and internal leadership to understand the financial condition of the business.
The average yearly income of a CFO varies due to multiple factors. The average CFO salary in the U.S. is around $400,000, but it typically falls between $200,000 and $500,000. Many factors like education, certifications, experience, and additional skills can impact a salary package.
Achieving the knowledge, skills, and qualifications to effectively serve as chief financial officer usually demands years of careful planning, diligent work, and dogged follow-through. Specifically, most CFOs get to these elite C-suite positions by completing five key steps, which entail:
Here is a closer look at each of these steps to becoming a CFO.
Getting a bachelor’s degree accounting or finance is important. You may also have to attain an advanced degree such as an MBA to move forward. Paying attention to your studies to get good skills in accounting and other financial tools is essential if you are targeting to become a CFO.
Getting jobs that can broaden your financial experience is important. Additionally, in accounting, you can consider the positions that focus more on risk management, budgeting, analysis, investing, and more. The more you are well-rounded in all these sectors, the stronger you will get as a candidate for CFO.
You can make your way through one company or switch jobs to get the experience. It is important to stay in the same field for deepening your experience.
For becoming a CFO, you need to know more than finances. Go for the roles that can widen your customer base experience, technological literacy, leadership skills, and business expertise.
When you are on the road to becoming a CFO, joining career networks is important to link with the right people. Joining one is important to building up the connections.
When you are done with all the above things, think about getting a training program. Sharpen your skills with the board-readiness program. Professionals who are looking for an executive-level opportunity should attend the training to develop a deep understanding of the things coming their way.
The CFO dashboard serves as a central hub for a host of financial information. It has financial KPIs and other interactive and insightful analytical tools. It helps in consolidating the data in a better and digestible way and helps in improving the decision-making process.
This dashboard tool offers a full-fledged view of all the information that any CFO would need to perform their job responsibilities. It also offers reports for the CEOs with string financial dashboards. So, in a nutshell, a CFO dashboard is an analytical nervous system for all the financial data with efficient tools.
A CFO has complete insight into an organization’s financial strategies and is responsible for:
Consequently, a CFO needs to be competent and highly capable of integrating technology strategies into the business. A CFO works closely with the CEO for influencing and driving the business strategies and becomes a board member who is responsible for any corporate investments.
The nationally renowned CFO executive recruiters at Cowen Partners have deep experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion.
Through our proven retained executive search process, Cowen Partners delivers 3X more qualified candidates than the competition. In fact, we find, vet, and deliver the top 1% of candidates for CFOs across all industries, including financial services, credit unions, tax and accounting services, private equity, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, real estate, and more.
Cowen Partners is proud to be the nation’s top CFO search firm, driven to create maximum value for our clients.
Read more of our industry-leading retained search resources to see why Cowen Partners is a top CFO search firm in Anchorage, Boston, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond:
Cowen Partners Executive Search provides CFO recruitment services to all major and minor industries including:
Accounting, Advertising, Aerospace & Defense, Biotechnology, Banking, Credit Unions, Board and CEO Services, Computer Hardware, Construction, Consulting, Consumer Products, Computer Software and Hardware, Education, Energy & Utilities, Entertainment & Sports, Finance, Financial Services, Food Products, Government, Human Resources, Health Care, Hospitality & Tourism, Insurance, Industrial, Internet & New Media, Legal, Tax, Crypto, Bitcoin, Private Equity, Journalism & Publishing, Marketing, Manufacturing, Medical Device, Non-Profit, Pharmaceutical, Private Equity, Real Estate, Retail & Apparel, Sales, Technology, Telecommunications and Transportation.