Chief Financial Officers: What Are They and What Do They Do?

Businessman made word CFO with wood building blocks.

When making fiscal business decisions, a chief financial officer helps you avoid seeing red. Their two cents lead to increased assets and reduced liabilities. This results in strong financial performance.

Could your business benefit from hiring a CFO? By the end of this article, you’ll be able to assess the value of having a chief financial officer role. 

If you’ve ever wondered what are chief financial officers and what do they do, learn more about that here. 

Chief Financial Officer Job

As part of the executive C-Suite, the CFO protects the financial integrity of an organization. Most people associate CFOs with large corporations. But smaller companies also have a similar role, generally titled Financial Controller.

Chief Financial Officer responsibilities include:

  • Creating long-term financial strategies
  • Analyzes financial reporting to make informed decisions
  • Represents the company in financial discussions 
  • Ensures compliance with regulated accounting procedures
  • Leads an organization’s finance and accounting team

CFOs are the highest-ranked financial executives. And they most always report to a company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or President.

Dollars and Sense: Becoming a CFO

Promising CFOs have a keen sense of strategic financial planning. And they’re able to identify money-making opportunities. Both these activities boost an organization’s financial performance and operational effectiveness. 

Landing a CFO position requires years of higher education and accounting experience. Many CFOs hold master’s degrees in finance, accounting, or business.

Some of the skills needed to function as a CFO include:

  • Corporate finance and accounting
  • Big data management
  • Problem-solving
  • Leadership and vision 
  • Strong work ethic

The financial reporting a CFO provides is vital to a company’s operations. So a CFO must also prove they’re reliable and detail-oriented. 

CFO Compensation

CFOs are an integral part of an organization. Their substantial financial compensation package reflects as much. They’re often paid a base salary and bonuses and receive other job perks. 

Factors affecting a CFOs salary include geographic location and company size. The average CFO compensation in the U.S. is $546,416. This includes salary and bonuses.

In most circumstances, CFO is a full-time position held by a company employee. But some organizations can’t afford full-time executive resources. So they contract a professional like CassmerWard.com for high-level financial consulting. 

How a CFO Makes Change

The role of a CFO is expected to shift. This position shows further expansion and requires more than simple number-crunching. 

As technology continues to evolve, companies expect CFOs to assist in streamlining processes. This increases efficiency and gives CFOs time to focus on other priorities. 

It’s imperative a CFO not only develops strategic objectives. They also need to invest efforts in capability-building.

Understanding the Role of Chief Financial Officers

Are you ready to start your CFO search? Understanding the expectations of chief financial officers, you know what experience to look for. Set yourself up for improved financial performance sooner rather than later. 

Comment to let us know if you found our chief financial officer guide helpful. And follow our blog and social media pages to learn more. 

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