Chief financial officers (CFOs) oversee the financial operations of their companies and provide leadership and focus to accounting and finance departments to ensure that they operate efficiently and comply with applicable laws and company policies. Their work is essential to project a favorable company image while saving money in every way possible.
CFOs may oversee departments which are involved in purchasing, pricing, investments, tax, debt management, and accounts payable/receivable; they may oversee all such transactions and record them in books or databases. This information may then be presented in reports to upper management, so strong public speaking and presentation skills are highly beneficial. CFOs must also conduct research and audits to ensure that all departments are following IRS guidelines.
Strong computer skills are important in this position in order to create calculations and reports, and advanced knowledge of accounting, budgeting, and finances is essential. Some travel may occasionally be necessary. A bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting is generally required by employers, and years of prior work experience may also be required. Basic managerial duties relating to hiring, human resources, and employee direction and discipline may also be part of the job.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Tasks
- Provide leadership and coordination in the administrative, business planning, accounting and budgeting efforts of the company.
- Prepare or direct preparation of financial statements, business activity reports, financial position forecasts, annual budgets, and/or reports required by regulatory agencies.
- Develop internal control policies, guidelines, and procedures for activities such as budget administration, cash and credit management, and accounting.