The following article discusses the career path of Chief Financial Officer. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Chief Financial Officers.
Chief financial officers (CFO) are responsible for the full financial operations within the organization. They are leaders who ensure finance and accounting departments function efficiently and are fully compliant with all relevant laws, as well as various company policies. Their work ensures that a company presents itself properly, is profitable, and minimizes waste.
Commonly, a CFO heads other departments, including those involved in accounts payable and receivable, debt management, tax, investments, pricing, and purchasing. Sometimes, they take a more hands-on approach, recording transactions in databases and books. They then report on their findings to other managers in the company, for which they require strong presentation and communication skills. Furthermore, they may have to conduct audits and research in order to ensure that all IRS guidelines are complied with.
Other job duties of chief financial officers are:
- To create internal control procedures, guidelines, and policies in relation to accounting, credit and cash management, and budget administration
- To direct preparation of reports required by external agencies, annual budgets, financial position forecasts, business activity reports, and/or financial statements
- To provide coordination and leadership to the company’s budgeting, accounting, business planning, and administrative efforts
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 2.3 million general and operations managers in 2016, of which CFOs are some. The largest employers of these professionals were:
How to Become
The exact education of CFOs varies depending on the industry they work for. However, a bachelor’s degree in a financial or business administration field is usually required. Furthermore, most CFOs have considerable work experience.
While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement, the majority of CFOs now hold a master’s degree, usually the master of business administration (MBA). Others focus more strongly on liberal arts, law, or public administration, depending on the industry in which they work
Having significant experience is usually of greater importance but most CFOs have climbed the ranks within their own organization, starting at entry level and moving to lower management and then senior management positions. Sometimes, external candidates are brought in because they provide a fresh, outsider look on the company. In this case, education weighs heavier as a requirement for the job.
Many CFOs have a background in accountancy. As a result, it is common for them to be Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). This also means they are able to submit reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Traits & Qualities
The most effective CFOs have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Excellent communication skills
- Strong decision making skills
- Leadership skills, being able to motivate others
- Management skills
- Excellent problem solvers
- Strong time management skills
- Strong computer skills
- Advanced knowledge of finance, budgeting, and accounting
The national average salary estimate for Chief Financial Officer was $130,123. This number is estimated from over 1,584,724 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $67.77 and monthly of $10,844.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Chief Financial Officer salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Alaska had the largest quoted salary of $179,730 while Kansas had the smallest quoted salary of $76,350.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Chief Financial Officer. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Tatum, a Randstad company||Alaska||$312,250|
|Access Staffing, LLC||Texas||$285,085|
|RWP Solutions||New York||$273,871|
|KONNEKT Talent Search and Selection||Montana||$264,000|
|South Florida Recruiters||Florida||$257,403|
|Larry White Associates||Mississippi||$256,977|
|Executive Healthcare Recruiters||Mississippi||$256,977|
|Leading Childcare company||Florida||$250,000|
|Global Advisory Solutions, LLC||Florida||$250,000|
|Sovereign Executive Search||Tennessee||$250,000|
|Open Systems Professional||New Jersey||$250,000|
|Interregional Med-Exec Group, Inc.||New Jersey||$250,000|
|Kforce Finance and Accounting||Florida||$245,432|
- Chief financial officer – Wikipedia
- Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO)
- ocfo | Office of the Chief Financial Officer
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Chief Technology Officer||$147,424|
|Director of Engineering||$138,182|
|Director of Pharmacy||$136,890|
|Chief Marketing Officer||$136,769|
|Chief Information Officer||$121,573|