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The role of a CFO

If you have a finance background and are already working in accountancy and finance, your ultimate goal may be to become a Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

But what does a CFO do and what skills and experience do you need in order to become one?

Who is a CFO?

CFOs oversee all the financial operations of an organisation, including accounting, financial reporting and business. They manage all aspects of financial matters and decision making.

What does a CFO do?

The CFO directs a company’s financial goals, objectives and budgets. If you work as a CFO, you will oversee the investment funds held by the company and assess, as well as manage associate risks. You will also supervise cash management activities, execute capital-raising strategies to support firm’s expansion, as well as deal with mergers and acquisitions. Most CFOs are also responsible for managing the corporate investments and will sit on the board.

If you work as a Chief Financial Officer in a smaller company, you may be expected to carry out a range of accounting tasks, while executives at larger corporations typically review reports and data form various divisions within their companies.

Education and training needed

As with all executive positions, you will need several years of experience in a senior management role, as well as a degree in accounting (preferably public accounting), finance, economics, business or a related subject. Many CFOs begin their careers as finance professionals, accountants or managers of small divisions, and work their way up to senior positions within a company.

The number of years of management experience you need will depend on the size of the company and the extent of the duties involved. Many CFOs have an MBA, a Maters or another type of advanced degree.

Skills needed

If you are going to become a successful CFO, you need outstanding finance skills. You must have the ability to make smart and strategic decisions on behalf of the organisation. Importantly, you should be able to translate financial data into useful information for those across all levels of an organisation. Leadership, interpersonal and communication skills are also important in this high level position.

How much can you earn as a CFO?

As a CFO, your salary will vary depending on the size of the company. For example, a CFO of an organisation in Indonesia can expect to earn about IDR$1,800m a year and will also receive number of other benefits. This can include a bonus on company performance and the options to buy shares if the company is listed.

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