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Become A Chief Finance Officer

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Working As A Chief Finance Officer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $174,561

    Average Salary

What Does A Chief Finance Officer Do

Top executives devise strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals. They plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities of companies and organizations.

Duties

Top executives typically do the following:

  • Establish and carry out departmental or organizational goals, policies, and procedures
  • Direct and oversee an organization’s financial and budgetary activities
  • Manage general activities related to making products and providing services
  • Consult with other executives, staff, and board members about general operations
  • Negotiate or approve contracts and agreements
  • Appoint department heads and managers
  • Analyze financial statements, sales reports, and other performance indicators
  • Identify places to cut costs and to improve performance, policies, and programs

The responsibilities of top executives largely depend on an organization’s size. For example, an owner or manager of a small organization, such as an independent retail store, often is responsible for purchasing, hiring, training, quality control, and day-to-day supervisory duties. In large organizations, however, top executives typically focus more on formulating policies and strategic planning, while general and operations managers direct day-to-day operations.

The following are examples of types of top executives working in the private sector:

Chief executive officers (CEOs), who are also known by titles such as executive director, managing director, or president, provide overall direction for companies and organizations. CEOs manage company operations, formulate and implement policies, and ensure goals are met. They collaborate with and direct the work of other top executives and typically report to a board of directors.

Chief operating officers (COOs) oversee other executives who direct the activities of various departments, such as human resources and sales. They also carry out the organization’s guidelines on a day-to-day basis.

General and operations managers oversee operations that are too diverse and general to be classified into one area of management or administration. Responsibilities may include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources. They make staff schedules, assign work, and ensure that projects are completed. In some organizations, the tasks of chief executive officers may overlap with those of general and operations managers.

The following are examples of types of top executives working in the public sector:

Mayors, along with governors, city managers, and county administrators, are chief executive officers of governments. They typically oversee budgets, programs, and the use of resources. Mayors and governors must be elected to office, whereas managers and administrators are typically appointed. 

Most educational systems, regardless of whether they are public or private school systems, also employ executive officers. The following are examples of top executives working in the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educational school systems:

School superintendents and college or university presidents are chief executive officers of school districts and postsecondary schools. They manage issues such as student achievement, budgets and resources, general operations, and relations with government agencies and other stakeholders.

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How To Become A Chief Finance Officer

Although education and training requirements vary widely by position and industry, many top executives have at least a bachelor’s degree and a considerable amount of work experience. 

Education

Many top executives have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration or in an area related to their field of work. Top executives in the public sector often have a degree in business administration, public administration, law, or the liberal arts. Top executives of large corporations often have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA).

College presidents and school superintendents are typically required to have a master’s degree, although a doctorate is often preferred.

Although many mayors, governors, or other public sector executives have at least a bachelor’s degree, these positions typically do not have any specific education requirements.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many top executives advance within their own firm, moving up from lower level managerial or supervisory positions. However, other companies may prefer to hire qualified candidates from outside their organization. Top executives who are promoted from lower level positions may be able to substitute experience for education to move up in the company. For example, in industries such as retail trade or transportation, workers without a college degree may work their way up to higher levels within the company to become executives or general managers.

Chief executives typically need extensive managerial experience. Executives are also expected to have experience in the organization’s area of specialty. Most general and operations managers hired from outside an organization need lower level supervisory or management experience in a related field.

Some general managers advance to higher level managerial or executive positions. Company training programs, executive development programs, and certification can often benefit managers or executives hoping to advance.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. They must effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain their policies and decisions to those within and outside the organization.

Decisionmaking skills. Top executives need decisionmaking skills when setting policies and managing an organization. They must assess different options and choose the best course of action, often daily.

Leadership skills. Top executives must be able to lead an organization successfully by coordinating policies, people, and resources.

Management skills. Top executives must shape and direct the operations of an organization. For example, they must manage business plans, employees, and budgets.

Problem-solving skills. Top executives need to identify and resolve issues within an organization. They must be able to recognize shortcomings and effectively carry out solutions.

Time-management skills. Top executives do many tasks at the same time, typically under their own direction, to ensure that their work gets done and that they meet their goals.

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Chief Finance Officer Videos

DNA of a CFO | Career Advice from CFOs Aecon, Canadian Tire, Molson-Coors and Walmart

Inside Google’s New CFO’s $70M Pay Package

3 Things Role of the CFO YouTube

Chief Finance Officer Jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Finance Director 3.9 years
Finance Controller 3.6 years
Finance Manager 3.6 years
Top Careers Before Chief Finance Officer
Controller 19.2%
Accountant 3.6%
Manager 3.4%
Consultant 2.8%
Top Careers After Chief Finance Officer
Controller 16.1%
Consultant 8.5%
President 4.7%
Owner 3.3%
Principal 3.1%
Director 2.6%

Do you work as a Chief Finance Officer?

Chief Finance Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

69.2%

Female

27.9%

Unknown

2.9%
Ethnicity

White

63.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.4%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

8.2%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.0%

French

12.3%

German

7.1%

Mandarin

5.7%

Portuguese

5.4%

Chinese

5.4%

Russian

4.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Arabic

2.6%

Italian

2.5%

Cantonese

1.8%

Korean

1.5%

Hindi

1.1%

Dutch

1.1%

Hebrew

0.9%

Hungarian

0.8%

Thai

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Gujarati

0.6%

Norwegian

0.6%
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Chief Finance Officer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.8%

New York University

6.2%

University of Chicago

5.4%

DePaul University

5.2%

University of Southern California

5.2%

University of Connecticut

5.1%

Michigan State University

4.8%

Pace University - New York

4.7%

Northwestern University

4.5%

University of Utah

4.5%

University of Pennsylvania

4.3%

Georgia State University

4.3%

Northeastern University

4.3%

Brigham Young University

4.1%

Villanova University

4.1%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

4.0%

University of Texas at Austin

3.7%

Northern Illinois University

3.7%

University of Houston

3.6%

University of Denver

3.6%
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Majors

Accounting

37.4%

Business

30.5%

Finance

16.5%

Management

3.2%

Economics

1.9%

Law

1.4%

Marketing

1.1%

Education

0.9%

Health Care Administration

0.8%

Taxation

0.8%

Political Science

0.8%

Psychology

0.7%

Computer Science

0.7%

Public Administration

0.5%

Computer Information Systems

0.5%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

0.5%

Business Economics

0.5%

Human Resources Management

0.5%

Communication

0.5%

Real Estate

0.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.4%

Masters

40.5%

Other

10.2%

Doctorate

2.2%

Associate

2.1%

Certificate

2.0%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.2%
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Chief Finance Officer Videos

DNA of a CFO | Career Advice from CFOs Aecon, Canadian Tire, Molson-Coors and Walmart

Inside Google’s New CFO’s $70M Pay Package

3 Things Role of the CFO YouTube

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Real Chief Finance Officer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chief Financial Officer Kraft Heinz Foods Company Northfield, IL Sep 21, 2015 $600,000
Chief Financial Officer 99 Cents Only Stores, LLC Commerce, CA Sep 04, 2015 $550,000
Chief Financial Officer Ciena Healthcare Management, Inc. Southfield, MI Feb 01, 2016 $525,000
Chief Financial Officer Ciena Healthcare Management, Inc. Southfield, MI Feb 01, 2015 $525,000
Chief Financial Officer Wandisco San Ramon, CA Mar 31, 2015 $480,000
Chief Financial Officer Swift Beef Company Greeley, CO Aug 10, 2015 $460,000
Chief Financial Officer John Hardy USA Inc. New York, NY Mar 23, 2016 $450,000
Chief Financial Officer John Hardy USA Inc. New York, NY Oct 21, 2015 $450,000
CFO Atlas Venture Life Science Advisors, LLC Cambridge, MA Feb 09, 2016 $400,000
Chief Financial Officer QBE Americas, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 02, 2015 $400,000
Chief Financial Officer One-Red, LLC. Sunnyvale, CA Jan 06, 2016 $375,312
Chief Financial Officer DDR Corp Beachwood, OH Apr 01, 2015 $375,000
Chief Financial Officer DDR Corp. Beachwood, OH Apr 01, 2015 $375,000
Chief Financial Officer Westguard Insurance Company New York, NY Jul 06, 2015 $369,000
CFO Rina Systems, LLC Cincinnati, OH Sep 22, 2015 $199,430
Chief Financial Officer Rina Systems, LLC Cincinnati, OH Jun 08, 2016 $199,430
Chief Financial Officer Interguard, Ltd. New York, NY Jul 27, 2015 $199,410 -
$380,000
Chief Financial Officer Carma Techology Corporation San Francisco, CA Sep 14, 2016 $195,000
Chief Financial Officer Carma Technology Corporation San Francisco, CA Sep 22, 2016 $195,000
Chief Financial Officer Carma Techology Corporation San Francisco, CA Sep 22, 2016 $195,000
Chief Financial Officer Sweet Green Fields USA LLC Bellingham, WA Apr 01, 2016 $191,859 -
$250,000
Chief Financial Officer Max Mara USA, Inc. New York, NY Jul 21, 2016 $190,000
Chief Financial Officer Allied Digital Services, LLC Torrance, CA Dec 14, 2015 $148,000 -
$170,000
Chief Financial Officer Bridgeinvest, LLC Miami, FL Jul 24, 2015 $145,850
Chief Financial Officer Moscot Wholesale Corp. New York, NY Apr 30, 2015 $145,101
Chief Financial Officer Bodum USA, Inc. New York, NY Sep 12, 2015 $145,101 -
$180,000
Chief Financial Officer Colfax Oncology LLC Clifton, NJ Feb 16, 2016 $145,101
Chief Financial Officer Love Grace Inc. Islandia, NY Jun 11, 2015 $145,101
Chief Financial Officer Maxtena Inc. Rockville, MD Nov 09, 2016 $145,000 -
$175,000

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Top Skills for A Chief Finance Officer

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Payroll
  3. Audit
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed detailed internal audit process; effectively coordinated external audits receiving no deficiencies, and published audited financial statements.
  • Addressed financial considerations including payroll, tax accounting, and report preparation.
  • Audited and provided accounting management service to non-profit organizations * Prepared federal & state income tax returns for corporations and individuals.
  • Initiated consistent communication with contractors and vendors, increasing prompt payments and ensuring legal compliance with labor and wage reporting regulations.
  • Developed and implemented financial reporting systems for all private equity and bank reporting.

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Top 10 Best States for Chief Finance Officers

  1. Illinois
  2. Washington
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Michigan
  5. Nevada
  6. Colorado
  7. Massachusetts
  8. South Dakota
  9. Pennsylvania
  10. Rhode Island
  • (1,192 jobs)
  • (708 jobs)
  • (257 jobs)
  • (561 jobs)
  • (128 jobs)
  • (431 jobs)
  • (871 jobs)
  • (42 jobs)
  • (599 jobs)
  • (73 jobs)

Top Chief Finance Officer Employers

Jobs From Top Chief Finance Officer Employers

Chief Finance Officer Videos

DNA of a CFO | Career Advice from CFOs Aecon, Canadian Tire, Molson-Coors and Walmart

Inside Google’s New CFO’s $70M Pay Package

3 Things Role of the CFO YouTube

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