How to grow your Business

What does a CFO do?

Valentina GolubovicValentina Golubovic
Last updated on:
July 16, 2022
Published on:
April 28, 2022

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What is a Chief Financial Officer?

A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) manages all aspects of financial matters and decision making, ultimately responsible for the company's financial health. They oversee financial reporting, cash flow management, and general financial planning and operations.

What are the main duties of a CFO?

Developing and implementing high-level strategies

One of the primary responsibilities of a CFO is to develop and implement high-level strategies, which involves looking at the big picture, determining a company's financial needs, and creating plans to meet those needs. A CFO has to ensure that they constantly monitor the execution of these strategies and make adjustments as needed.

Financial planning for performance and growth

The CFO is an executive responsible for the company's overall financial management. The CFO's primary tasks are to find ways to increase revenue, decrease costs, and manage the company's financial risk. The CFO is directly responsible for financial planning, risk management and specific tasks such as managing investments, coordinating debt payments and negotiating loans or lines of credit from banks or other sources.

Financial reporting

A CFO monitors and reports on all of the company's financial aspects, including income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and tax returns. In addition to financial reports, they may also be responsible for preparing the annual budget and forecasting the company's future growth. The CFO will also conduct monthly analysis of all financial results and present these findings to management and other stakeholders in the business to improve operations and profitability.‍

Leading different departments 

A chief financial officer should be able to communicate clearly and effectively with stakeholders, which means having excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills. Companies may rely on the CFO to maintain relationships with financial stakeholders like shareholders and vendors.

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What are the skills and qualifications of a CFO?

Financial education

A CFO should have at least some form of financial education, which can be through a degree or professional experience. A bachelor's degree, ideally in accounting, business or finance, will usually be the minimum requirement for a CFO role. Many chief financial officers tend to have corporate finance experience or strong accounting background. Taking CMA review courses is also an effective way to improve your knowledge and understanding of the accounting profession.

Problem-solving 

CFO needs to be able to solve problems. A good CFO can think critically, analyse financial data, and then make a strategic decision based on the information. There are many pitfalls that a successful CFO needs to navigate to keep the company afloat. They need to be able to think on their feet and act quickly.

Leadership skills

The CFO must have strong leadership skills since they are responsible for managing the finance team. They set strategic goals and ensure that their department works to accomplish these goals. They work closely with the chief executive officer and other senior team members to ensure clear lines of communication between departments.

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The opinions on this page are for general information purposes only and do not constitute legal advice on which you should rely.

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