Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Chief Financial Officer, commonly known as a CFO, is a senior manager who oversees a businesses’ financial department. Their primary responsibilities include allocating financial resources to each department within the organization and delegating responsibilities to department supervisors and managers.

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Chief Financial Officer duties and responsibilities

A Chief Financial Officer is at the highest level of fiscal responsibility within an organization. Some of the common tasks expected of a Chief Financial Officer in nearly any industry include:

  • Develop and monitor objectives for the financial department
  • Create policies that allow each department to work in the most organized way
  • Appoint managers and senior team leaders within the financial department
  • Handle negotiations for mergers, acquisitions, and the establishment of new divisions within the company
  • Allocate company funds accordingly to ensure each department can function at an optimal pace
  • Determine realistic goals and establish financial controls to maintain maximum productivity
  • Manage and oversee all financial affairs for the organization
  • Ensure compliance with IIROC policies and procedures
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What does a Chief Financial Officer do?

A Chief Financial Officer is an executive or member of the senior management team. Their mandate is to determine how the company and each of its divisions should operate to maximize efficiency and productivity. They select the appropriate managers for each department and ensure they are all on the same path toward a shared goal. By leading teams, allocating funds, and presenting financial projections to stakeholders, the Chief Financial Officer is in charge of propelling the organization forward and increasing profitability.

Chief Financial Officer skills and qualifications

A Chief Financial Officer is one of the top executives in a company. They must bear a lot of responsibility on their shoulders for financial planning and success. Some skills and qualifications that make for a successful Chief Financial Officer include:

  • Exceptional ability to monitor, allocate, and control finances on a large scale
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong leadership and managerial skills
  • In-depth knowledge of finance, accounting, and numeracy
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Ability to present financial analysis and projections to company stakeholders
  • Excellent problem-solving attitude and abilities

Chief Financial Officer experience requirements

A Chief Financial Officer needs 10 or more years of experience in leadership positions within a company’s financial department. For large businesses, consider a CFO with even more experience, and who has experience working in similar corporate environments. As high-level executives, they must be experienced accountants and have a proven track record of success leading teams within the finance department. Excellent candidates for a Chief Financial Officer role also need proven experience reading complex financial reports and communicating them to stakeholders in easy-to-understand terms.

Chief Financial Officer education and training requirements

A Chief Financial Officer must have a university degree in business administration, accounting, finance, or related discipline. Successful candidates need accreditation from their provincial or territorial accounting body as a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA). A master’s in business administration (MBA) is an asset and prepares candidates for the role.

Chief Financial Officer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Chief Financial Officer in Canada is $132,144 per year. Salaries can vary based on factors such as location, size of the business and type of industry, and the candidate’s level of experience.

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Chief Financial Officer job description FAQs

What is the difference between a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and a Chief Operating Officer (COO)?

Some companies may have a combined CFO-COO position. However, most large-scale companies have two separate executives for these roles. The Chief Financial Officer manages the company’s finances. The Chief Operating Officer handles all aspects of a company’s daily operations. This may include production, marketing, sales, research and development, and other high-level strategies. The specifics depend heavily on the company and the industry, but their primary goal is to execute the company’s vision of success. The CFO and COO work with other top executives and both report to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or business owners.

What qualities make for a good Chief Financial Officer?

A good Chief Financial Officer needs to be strategic and possess leadership qualities to lead everyone in the financial department towards a common goal. An excellent candidate is logical, organized, and able to make sound decisions. Successful CFOs are analytical, think critically, and can turn a grand vision into smaller achievable objectives for their team. Chief Financial Officers should be results-driven and able to inspire their team.

What to look for in a Chief Financial Officer resume?

Chief Financial Officers need at least 10 years of experience in the financial field. Look for candidates with a track record of leadership roles and management positions. A successful candidate’s resume will show quantifiable financial achievements, such as increasing their previous company’s profit by 25% over five years. Look for a candidate with a Chartered Professional Accountant designation, or master’s of business administration (MBA) degree.

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