How to become a chief finance officer (CFO)

Manage and coordinate the overall financial and accounting operations within companies and organisations.

Pathways to this career

  1. Complete an accredited undergraduate degree in finance, accounting, economics or business.
  2. Complete a Master of Business Administration (MBA) or the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) examination.
  3. Work your way up in companies and gain extensive work experience in leadership roles within the financial departments.
  4. Depending on the size of the company, achieving CFO level can take a minimum of 10 years or more, so work hard and don’t give up.

What does a CFO do?

An organisation’s CFO is the senior executive responsible all finance activities. This can include financial records, financial reporting, and compliance. CFOs must have excellent management skills and extensive experience with creating and managing budgets and financial resources.

Duties and tasks

  • Use financial reports to inform recommendations for business strategy.
  • Develop long-term profit projections, budgets and financial positions.
  • Devise, monitor, and evaluate financial strategies, including comprehensive budgeting and accounting, and policies for practices.
  • Evaluate and authorise operational project budgets and financial proposals.
  • Implement policies and procedures for accounting methods and monitor activities.
  • Provide ongoing analysis of funding source reliability, investment strategies, and financial allocations.
  • Research relevant legislation and regulations pertaining to financial practices and ensure activities are in compliance.

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