All you need to know about Chief Financial Officers

June 12, 2015 // by Marcia Myers

financial statementsFor a company to grow and make profits, proper management is usually required. The degree of success when it comes to the management of a company is determined by the range of skills, knowledge, and the qualities possessed by the company’s staff. A good example is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). A CFO plays a major role in any company by ensuring that financial reports are accurate. A CFO is a senior manager who is directed with oversight of the financial activities of a company. His/her main responsibilities will cover financial planning and cash flow monitoring. He identifies and assesses the company’s financial stability and vulnerabilities and comes out with useful ideas for improvement. In general, a CFO plays a major role in the company’s capital structure and has a major say on how the company manages its income and the expenses.

The CFO’s role is not an easy one and thus requires someone who is capable of handling the job with much expertise. Becoming one requires good educational credentials in finance and or accounting plus financial management experience. If you have a start-up company and is looking to hire one, there are various qualities and skills that you should look for. Below are the key characteristics of a great CFO.

1. In-depth Knowledge and Experience

Knowledge, skills, and experience are all required in order to move your company to the next level. He/she must possess the right skills, knowledge, and experience to help the company manage it income and expenses, maximize profits, obtain clarity, and optimize their resources for better performance. This type of knowledge is especially important with a part-time CFO.

2. Excellent Communication Skills

Good oral and written communication skills are essential qualities that a CFO must possess. This is because he/she must be able effectively to communicate with the company’s executives.

3. Financial Foresight

He/she must have the ability to anticipate the company’s financial management issues and address them properly with the aim to maximize profits.

4. Foresight and Vision

A start-up company with a CFO who cannot see the bigger picture may fail. He/she should have the ability to see what the future holds for the company, enabling him/her to create and implement good business plans for the company. For more on this topic, please consult the CFO Strategies Facebook page.

5. Integrity and Ethical Standards

He/she must have the willingness always ensure that whatever he/she does plays a big role in the success of the company and thus upholds ethics and professional standards. A CFO is also honest with all transactions and is transparent.

6. Good Leadership Skills

A successful CFO should have good leadership skills and qualities to delegate and oversee all the financial operations of the company effectively.

7. He should be Result Oriented

For a company to meet its financial expectations, the CFO must have the ability to set goals that are realistic, specific, achievable, and measurable.

8. Risk Taker

Just like with any other type of business, risk taking gives the company a chance of growth and development. As the financial manager, he/she should have the willingness to take risks and try out new things for the benefit of the the end of it all, someone needs to take credit for success and account for failure.