Vice presidents of finance and chief financial officers perform very similar job duties. As such, their titles can be interchangeable depending on the size of a given company. When both positions exist in a company, CFOs are generally considered to be more strategically-oriented and forward thinking whereas finance VPs ensure that their respective company's finances are managed appropriately and effectively. However, both positions report to and/or work closely with the president and the CEO of a given company.
Generally speaking, they both make sure that their company's finances are in check and they run projections what the business might do in the future. Depending on the size of their company, they may oversee a team of accountants, or they may actually partake in the audits, bookkeeping and continual monitoring of the company's financial figures. These figures are usually used to show to current and prospective investors, the board of advisers and/or other executives within the company. CFOs and finance VPs also ensure that the work done within their company aligns with the financial future and strategies that have been planned out for the company.
The educational requirements to become a finance VP or a CFO generally include a bachelors or masters degree in business, economics or finance. Finance VPs and CFOs are also usually required to have a significant amount of related work experience (e.g. at an executive or high management level).
Vice President (VP) Finance & Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Tasks
Direct financing strategies, analysis, forecasting and budget management.
Direct all aspects of accounting operations such as receivables, payables, payroll and financial reporting.
Oversee all financial related matters where depth and scope is relative to the size of the company.
Create financial plans as defined by the board of directors.