Career as a CFO (Chief Financial Officer)

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The CFO career path is reserved for those with genuine ambition. If this describes you, your education and career goals are already high on your priority list. Additionally, if you are interested in the finance industry and are passionate about pursuing a career in the C-suite, a career as a CFO is ideal for you.

However, you must take some strategic steps along the way, and there are ways to expedite your progress while striving to build a career in this profession.

In this blog, we shall be discussing everything you need to know about how you can pursue a career as a CFO, what skills you need, what you need to study, where you can work, and a lot more. Read on!

What does a CFO do?

Chief financial officers are top executives in charge of the business’s finances (CFOs). To pursue a career as a CFO, you must know what duties a CFO generally performs.

  • A team of financial controllers and analysts is under the direction of India’s Chief Financial Officer, who also makes sure that the law and the company’s policies are upheld.
  • Examining the financial performance and position of the business and making recommendations for improvement are tasks included in the Chief Financial Officer job description.
  • The Chief Financial Officer’s duties also include managing all finance personnel and ensuring that the organization’s operations have an adequate cash flow.
  • The Chief Financial Officer’s job description calls for accurate current and forecasting reports, as well as the setup and management of the business’s financial IT system.
  • The duties of the Chief Financial Officer also include planning for company fundraising and monitoring and evaluating the capital structure.
  • The duties of a Chief Financial Officer are similar to those of a controller or treasurer in that they are responsible for managing the accounting and finance divisions and ensuring that the company’s financial reporting is accurate and executed efficiently.
  • They are typically in charge of handling the business’s finances, determining its financial strengths and weaknesses, and keeping an eye on all facets of its security.
  • Tracking cash flow and creating a budget for the business’s finances are additional duties.

Job profiles for a CFO

  • Chief Operating Officer (COO): As a senior executive, the chief operating officer (COO) is responsible for overseeing a company’s daily administrative and operational operations. The chief operating officer (COO), who frequently answers directly to the CEO, is typically listed second in an organizational hierarchy.
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO): The chief executive officer (CEO) is a company’s second-most-important employee, behind the founder. The chief executive officer holds the most power within an organization after the owner. A chief executive officer must issue directives to workers at companies and organizations. They supervise corporate operations and put policies and procedures into practice to ensure that goals and objectives are achieved.

Career path to become a CFO

If you are willing to pursue a career as a CFO, you can follow this career path.

Path 1:

Complete your 10+2 in the Commerce stream since it provides you with the opportunity to study subjects like accounting since it helps candidates prepare for a career as a CFO. You can opt for a bachelor’s degree in finance followed by a master’s degree. In the sections below, we shall also be providing a list of degree programs you can study.

Salary in different career stages of a CFO

You must be wondering if a career as a CFO is rewarding enough to pursue as a profession. This table displays the salary range of a CFO based on experience.

ExperienceSalary
<1 yearRs.2,029,400
1-4 yearsRs.1,183,590
5-9 yearsRs.2,011,825
10-19 yearsRs.3,709,900
20+ yearsRs.4,295,410

Skills to become a CFO

The qualifications needed to pursue a career as a Chief Financial Officer have been covered in this section.

  1. Accounting Proficiency: Chief financial officers must possess accounting knowledge to work effectively in the financial industry. A chief financial officer is knowledgeable in accounting principles, standards, and practices. They are also skilled in budgeting, bank statement reconciliation, cost analysis and reduction, cash flow management, and general ledger maintenance among other things.
  2. Communication abilities: A Chief Financial Officer’s vocabulary plays a significant role in their capacity for effective communication, and they can effortlessly interact with team members and employees thanks to their exceptional vocabulary skills.
  3. Financial Knowledge: Financial knowledge is a crucial component of the Chief Financial Officer’s career path in India. He or she should be able to keep an eye on the financial landscape, interest rates, and the investment market in to fully understand financial situations.
  4. Strategic mind: A Chief Financial Officer needs to come up with various strategies to manage the finances of a company. This involves managing the budgets, creating methods to save costs, etc.

Is CFO a good career option?

To pursue a career as a chief financial officer, they need to be qualified and experienced candidates. India is one of the largest emerging markets in the world, and it has seen a sharp increase in global activities, acquisitions, collaborations, and innovations. All of this suggests that the Chief Financial Officer will continue to be needed. Given how highly these key positions are valued, there would be fierce competition. Chief Financial Officer positions will likely be more accessible to applicants with strong academic credentials, relevant experience, and specialized skills. The best job to pursue is a Chief Financial Officer course because of their high salaries and high demand. Many businesses employ CFOs, etc. The compensation plan for a Chief Financial Officer is reasonable. As fresher, they receive between Rs.30,000 and Rs.45,000 each month.

If you want to learn more about a career as a CFO, sign up for the Clever Harvey JuniorMBA Finance course to add a real industry project to your student portfolio.

Industries hiring CFOs

If you want to pursue a career as a CFO, here are a few industries you can consider working for.

  • Banks
  • Business development
  • Corporate Sector
  • eCommerce
  • Fmcg
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Media
  • Retail
  • Technology
  • Telecom

Top recruiters for CFOs

Here’s a list of the top recruiters in the field to pursue a career as a CFO.

Top recruiters in India
Accenture
Amazon
Done by None
Honeywell
ICICI Bank
NEXT
Self Opportunity
State Bank of India
TaskUs
Tata Motors
Top recruiters in India
  1. Accenture
  2. Amazon
  3. Done by None
  4. Honeywell
  5. ICICI Bank
  6. NEXT
  7. Self Opportunity
  8. State Bank of India
  9. TaskUs
  10. Tata Motors

Courses to upskill as a CFO

The certification courses listed below can help you to pursue a career as a CFO.

  • Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP)Certified Management Accountant (CMA)
  • Certified in Financial Management
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Certified Food Manager (CFM)
  • Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM)
  • Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
  • Certified Information Technology Professional (CITP)
  • Certified Management Executive (CME)
  • Certified Manager Certification (CM)
  • Certified Professional – Human Resource (IPMA-CP)
  • Certified Resume Specialist: Accounting and Finance (CRS+AF)
  • Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)
  • Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA)
  • International Accredited Business Accountant (IABA)
  • Program Management Professional (PgMP)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)

If you want to learn more about a career as a CFO, sign up for the Clever Harvey JuniorMBA Finance course to add a real industry project to your student portfolio.

Qualifications to become a CFO

In this section, we shall be sharing all the details about the educational qualifications required to pursue a career as a CFO.

Degrees in India

Here’s a list of the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs you can study in India to pursue a career as a CFO.

Undergraduate courses in India

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • B. Com
  • B. Com in Accounting and Finance (BAF)
  • B. Com in Banking and Insurance
  • B. Com in Finance

Postgraduate courses in India

Course NameDuration
Masters of Business Administration2 years
M. Com in Accounts and Finance2 years
M. Com in Finance2 years
MS in Business Analytics2 years

Degrees abroad

Here’s a list of the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs you can study abroad to pursue a career as a CFO.

Undergraduate courses abroad

  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • B. Com
  • B. Com in Accounting and Finance (BAF)
  • B. Com in Banking and Insurance
  • B. Com in Finance

Postgraduate courses abroad

Course NameDuration
Masters of Business Administration2 years
M. Com in Accounts and Finance2 years
M. Com in Finance2 years
MS in Business Analytics2 years

To know more about how you can pursue a career as a CFO, read this blog- How to become a CFO after 12th in India?

References

To know more about a career as a CFO, check out this section!

Books to read

BooksAuthor
Atomic HabitsJames Clear
Dare to LeadBrené Brown
Principles Ray Dalio
Reinventing the CFOJeremy Hope
The 80/20 CFO Suzy Taherian and Janice Berthold
The 80/20 PrincipleRichard Koch
The New CFO Financial Leadership ManualSteven M. Bragg
This is not a fashion story Danielle Bernstein and Emily Siegel
WinningJack and Suzy Welch
Women CFO StoriesNidhi Agarwal

That’s all you need to know about your career as a CFO. We hope this blog helped you and answered all your questions about this C-suite job. Good luck!

FAQs related to a career as a CFO

What degree is needed for CFO?

Based on a recent article by Business News Daily, many CFOs start with a bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field like accounting. Aspiring CFOs may benefit from degrees in statistics, economics, or finance, which can give them a strong financial foundation.

How many years does it take to become a chief financial officer?

Typically, becoming a chief financial officer takes 10 to 15 years (CFO). Although a bachelor’s degree and managerial and financial experience are prerequisites, obtaining and excelling in the position of CFO requires years of skill development.

What degree do most CFOs have?

A bachelor’s degree is the most common level of education needed, along with a lot of experience, to become a CFO. A master’s degree in business administration is a common requirement for CFOs, with 54% of Fortune 100 CFOs possessing one.

How many hours do CFO work?

To fulfil the many responsibilities associated with the position, a CFO frequently puts in long hours. It is not uncommon for people to work 50 to 60 hours per week, particularly when they have a deadline to meet. Time management and the capacity to balance obligations are therefore crucial skills for a CFO.

What industries can I work in as a CFO?

Banks
Business development
Corporate Sector
eCommerce
Fmcg
Healthcare
Insurance
Media
Retail
Technology
Telecom

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