How to Become a CFO: A Short Guide to Your Dream Career

How to Become a CFO in 7 Steps

But it’s also down to you to inform, educate, influence and inspire. Blog Stay up-to-date on our latest thought leadership and industry news. Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions about how to become a CFO. Economics covers a broad range of topics and How to Become a CFO in 7 Steps courses you take for it could include economic theory, economic development, government, labor economics, banking and more. If your end game is to be a CFO, you need to think strategically about where you work and how you build a network that can be useful to you.

Traditional MBAs can provide more hands-on guidance, while an online MBA is great for self-motivated people who want to work while they go to school. We’ve covered the advantages of each to help you determine which path is right for you. As a financial executive, your decisions and recommendations directly impact the course and wellbeing of the company. An MBA will help you expand your perspective to contextualize your decisions within the organization better. However, an MBA is valuable because it increases the breadth of your business knowledge. Imagine trying to understand why a product is underperforming but having no grasp on whether it’s the product itself or the result of a failed marketing campaign.

Relevant Education to Become a CFO

There are plenty of departments and roles, including those with upward mobility. Finance degrees will include courses in cost accounting, financial modeling, corporate finance, investment analysis, portfolio management and more. Of course, there are some reliable expectations a company will have about someone applying for a job at this level. Broken down, you’ll probably need to have a resume that conveys personal skills, relevant education, and the right amount of work experience.

How to Become a CFO in 7 Steps

And it’s up to you to make sure everyone in the business understands how their contributions and actions impact your bottom line – positively and negatively. Done right, you create a culture that thinks finance first for everything. Regarding your question, do you have experience in accounting/finance or is your background only in tech? To become a CFO, a candidate needs a solid track record in accounting/finance plus a professional designation like the CMA. It’s very possible to get a low-level job at one of these big companies and work your way up, eventually segueing into a role as a CFO somewhere else. Getting a masters of science in accounting, or an MSA, is a deeper dive into accounting principles and concepts, including auditing/taxation, financial analysis, statement analysis, IT and more.

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They also need competence in forecasting, financial modeling, data mining, data visualization techniques, and product analysis. What’s more, they’re often viewed as the CEO’s second-in-command, a strategic adviser who makes recommendations regarding everything from the budget to human resources and technology.

What is higher than a CFO?

The CEO, or Chief Executive Officer, oversees the overall business operations of a company and reports to the board of directors. The CFO, or Chief Financial Officer, only oversees the financial operations of a company and reports to the CEO.

Surround yourself with people you trust who can focus on the detailed aspects of financial systems and processes. By delegating appropriately, you build a strong team that allows you to step more fully into a leadership position within the company. It is still your responsibility to see that tasks and projects are done correctly, so make sure expectations and deadlines are clear from the beginning. When pursuing a finance degree, students can participate in hands-on internships and apply what they’ve learned in class to real-world situations in business finance. Before becoming CFOs, many professionals serve in finance-related positions. Banking, accounting, trading, consulting, financial reporting are all options for a fulfilling finance career. Since the position of CFO includes leadership and management roles, earning an MBA will help you gain experience and prepare for the job.

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Most of the CFOs spend far more time on simple reviewing updates rather than asking questions and generating discussions. If you don’t want to be just an average CFO, but the great one, you need to expand your horizons. You must fully comprehend the analysis behind financial decisions, and be able to anticipate potential company issues and risks. Besides that, you should be eagerly available to address your concerns and offer constructive criticism. If you want to be successful in leadership, you must know that building relationships and developing trust are crucial. Stick to an open door policy and try to make time and listen to what your employees have to say. In order to do that, you should encourage them to speak freely to you and to always say their opinion.

How to Become a CFO in 7 Steps

While deciding your components of a marketing budget, ignoring the impact of traditional media may not be a great idea always. Although this clearly depends on your business proposition and marketing positioning, let’s take a general look at the current scenario. You should circulate amid your colleagues every day and make sure that both, your dedicated level of involvement and your communication with them, be formal as well as informal. So, socialize with your team and become involved in the interoffice “water cooler” conversations. If you manage to have all the mentioned habits you will definitely understand your employees and work in favor of your company dynamics.

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Those looking for advice on how to become a CFO should make every effort to keep up to date on the latest directions in IT in both the company and its industry. Become well-versed in trends in digital transformation and understand emerging tech tools that will help give your company a competitive advantage by boosting efficiency and reducing risk. Nearly all organizations in every industry employ a CFO to oversee the financial operations.

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