If you are plotting your career or are currently working in the world of finance, accounting or a similar field, you might very well be planning on or thinking of becoming the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of a business or organization. That’s good news for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the excellent prospects you have for work that is endlessly fascinating and financial rewards and other perks that are commensurate with the responsibilities you will have.
What Does a CFO Do?
A CFO is responsible for overseeing all of the financial aspects of a business or other organization. In the course of these activities they are also responsible for making decisions based on the financial information they maintain or which has been provided to them by a staff.
The responsibilities of a CFO can vary widely, depending mainly on the size of the company. In a smaller company a CFO can be responsible for more of the smaller day to day aspects of the business operations, whereas for a larger company, a CFO would oversee a broader scope of the business with information provided to him by subordinates and business units.
Regardless of the size of a business enterprise, the CFO provides financial advice and direction for the company from a financial perspective. He or she would also be responsible for management and assessment of risks for the company’s investments. The CFO also frequently sits on the board of directors for the company.
The Education/Qualifications of a CFO
The education and other qualifications of a CFO can be just as broad as his responsibilities. Just as is the case with most other “Chief” positions, the CFO is most often a person with experience that runs the gamut of financial management, including expertise in accounting, finance, investments, and much more.
A CFO must be able to not only understand the financial data that is generated as a result of the business’s operations, but must be able to also translate that information into useful advice and counsel for the company’s board of directors as well as others with interests in the company, such as investors.
A CFO’s knowledge and skill sets must be much greater than just the standard recording and reporting responsibilities of an accountant. He must be an adviser and one who is knowledgeable of the laws and regulations of his industry in order to give wise direction of those inside the company.
How Much Does a CFO Earn?
It is obvious that due to the wide variety of experiences required of a CFO, most of these are well rewarded for their work. A great deal also depends on the size and type of organization the CFO is employed by. Also important to consider is the location of the company.
A large American corporation might reward their CFO with a salary that begins in the neighborhood of $450,000, plus many benefits that might include stock options, health insurance and much more. For an American nonprofit organization, the CFO might be paid considerably less, and companies in foreign countries also pay CFOs well, but considerably less than American organizations.