CFO Job Description
The role of CFO has expanded rapidly in recent years. They’ve gone from being bean counters to business leaders. Companies of every size are recruiting CFOs to provide them with strategic leadership and a financial analyst who can lead on digital transformation. The job description of a CFO can be fluid, enabling companies to adopt it to suit their specific needs
CFOs will manage a finance team and work as the second-in-command to the CEO, providing an invaluable option when succession planning. While most CFOs will have a background in accounting and financing, we’re seeing a growing number of candidates from less traditional backgrounds.
What is a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)?
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a senior C-suite executive responsible for overseeing a company’s finances, from its cash flow to its regulatory management. The CFO’s responsibilities include financial planning and putting systems in place to streamline the company’s operations by leveraging digital tools.
They may take on similar responsibilities to a controller or treasurer, especially if the company does not have a separate individual in these roles. A CFO will work alongside the CEO, COO, and CIO to focus on financial planning, from mergers and acquisitions to business expansion.
Stakeholder relations have increasingly become a crucial part of the CFO role. These senior financial professionals provide their company with credibility for financial institutions and private investors. They act as a bridge between the company and third-party stakeholders.
The Role of CFO
CFOs have dual responsibilities to oversee their company’s financial activities and act as a strategic advisor to the CEO and their C-suite colleagues. It’s up to the CFO to establish KPIs to ensure that the company is meeting its revenue and earning goals while maintaining its necessary cash flow.
A CFO will work with their finance team to maximise value creation by expanding the company’s revenue-generating capacity and overseeing company spending. Value for money is crucial, ensuring that the company can operate sufficiently without negatively impacting employee or customer satisfaction.
Most CFOs will build a finance team around them, investing in human capital to support the company’s growth into the future. CFOs are now becoming involved in every aspect of their companies, including ensuring employee retention and digital growth.
Data has increasingly become a vital aspect of the CFO role. Investing in data tools, such as AI and automation, enables CFOs to provide better financial analysis using real-time forecasting and data to support business growth. This data feeds into decisions at every level, from understanding tax implications to determining whether to introduce new products or services.
Skills of a CFO
A successful CFO is multi-talented, possessing a range of technical and soft skills that enable them to adapt to the rapidly evolving role. CFOs are becoming leadership-centric, spending their time primarily focusing on strategic planning, financial accounting, and stakeholder relations.
One soft skill that recruiters are increasingly looking for from CFOs is communication. CFOs are leading stakeholder engagement, working with their colleagues and external partners. A CFO must translate their financial forecasting to investors and third parties without applying a bias.
The evolution of the role of CFO has made leadership skills a crucial factor. They’ll need to balance their financial management against leadership expectations, from building their team to providing strategic support for the company’s growth.
Leadership skills include understanding the bigger picture, developing relationships, and providing tactical problem-solving.
- Analysing Data
CFOs can utilise data analysis to maximise profitability and value creation. This skill enables them to become involved in almost every aspect of the business, from investing in IT infrastructure to managing supply chain logistics and determining procurement strategies.
A CFO with analytical aptitude will steer the company’s growth and take a forward-thinking approach.
- Risk Management
Risk management is one of the top responsibilities of a CFO. They’ll be expected to identify and mitigate potential threats. CFOs are responsible for ensuring their company’s regulatory compliance, requiring them to have their finger on the industry pulse to understand regulatory changes. A skilled CFO will establish an operational framework to navigate through IT, security, personnel, and compliance risks.
Responsibilities of a CFO
The changing role of CFO means that its responsibilities can be adapted to serve the specific needs of the company, including filling a skills gap. Most CFOs will have four responsibilities in common that focus on financial management.
- Return on Investment (ROI)
One aspect of a CFO’s strategic focus is ensuring the company hits its desired return on investment (ROI). The ROI ratio will be determined as a key KPI, but it’s up to CFO to apply the context that determines whether the expected or achieved ROI is worth the investment.
CFOs are responsible for ensuring the company’s liquidity and its ability to pay off its short-term liabilities with readily accessible funds. They’ll control expenses and utilise real-time tracking to ensure that the company maintain its desired liquidity ratio to meet its financial obligations.
The forecasting carried out by a CFO is crucial in determining where the company invests its time and capital. The CFO will develop modelling and put digital systems in place that support data analysis and real-time forecasting.
CFOs will take a hands-on approach to internal components, seeking to understand HR-related costs, sales trends, and external factors that can impact the company’s short and long-term forecasting. They’ll need to account for emerging competitors, technological advancements, and market shifts.
A CFO must be confident in presenting their forecasting to lenders, investors, external partners, and company employees.
CFOs oversee their company’s financial reporting, from cash flow statements to meeting regulatory compliance. It’s their responsibility to ensure that stakeholders and investors understand the current financial state of the company. They’ll be the one to assert that financial reports are accurate and complete in line with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).
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Schedule a free, confidential consultation call today to learn more about our recruitment and headhunting services for part-time, full-time, and interim CFOs. Start your CFO recruitment or headhunting by contacting our team today at email@example.com