What is a CFO?

A CFO (Chief Financial Officer) is responsible for a company's financial situation, both past and present, and is also an integral part of the company's financial future.

The chief financial officer is a key member of senior management.

What does a CFO do?

The role of the CFO is to be a strategic partner as well as an advisor, keeping a company moving forward and on solid financial footing.

A CFO going over the financials of a company.

A great CFO has a strategic mindset, will be able to project a long-term financial picture of the company, and make it thrive based on solid analysis. Identifying what areas of the company are most efficient, and capitalizing on those particular areas, are crucial to the growth and success of a company.

CFO's are able to identify and execute well-thought-out financial plans and tax strategies; critical to the success of a company. They are a member of the management team, and have the responsibility of overseeing and improving a company's operations and financial activities.

CFO's spend their time assessing financial risks and opportunities, making profitability enhancements, increasing revenues, applying new revenue strategies, and keeping an eye on cash flow. This includes both day-to-day analysis, as well as long-term analysis.

Some responsibilities of a CFO:
- working with project managers on new ways to increase profitability
- supporting the marketing and sales teams
- helping to raise capital
- managing internal cash flow
- overseeing and supporting short and long-term strategic planning
- coordinating with the company's financial advisors
- being involved with any number of financial tasks and projects

A good CFO is a cross-functional leader, and will carefully consider how the decisions made will affect other departments in the company.

Because the CFO is so tuned in with the rest of the company, he or she is someone who can identify issues and situations quite early on, and may 'see' things that others may miss. It is common for CEO's to rely on their CFO's to be the company's early warning system for any issues that need to be addressed.

Are you suited to be a CFO?

CFOs have distinct personalities. They tend to be enterprising individuals, which means they’re adventurous, ambitious, assertive, extroverted, energetic, enthusiastic, confident, and optimistic. They are dominant, persuasive, and motivational. Some of them are also conventional, meaning they’re conscientious and conservative.

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What is the workplace of a CFO like?

A CFO can work in a variety of settings, from small companies to international corporations. They also work for branches of the government, hospitals, and non-profit organizations.

CFOs are also known as:
Chief Financial Officer