The CFO is a critical component of any successful business. They are in charge of overseeing the organisation’s finances, ensuring that the company meets its financial goals and objectives, and providing financial guidance to other departments.

Qualities needed as a CFO

The characteristics that make a great CFO are frequently overlooked, but they are critical to a company’s success.

Read on to learn about some of the defining attributes of a great CFO and how they can help a business succeed.

1. Communication

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for ensuring that all stakeholders, both internal and external to the organization, receive timely and accurate information.

They are required to have the ability to explain financial information in a manner that can be comprehended by a wide range of audiences.

CFO giving presentation to the board
Effective communication is a key part of being a CFO

2. Think Strategically

When considering the company’s long-term objectives, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) needs to be able to think both strategically and logically.

They have to be able to recognize potential opportunities as well as potential dangers, and they have to be capable of developing strategies to reduce risk.

3. Leadership

A Chief Financial Officer needs to be an effective leader who can point their team in the right direction and provide them with guidance.

In addition to this, they need to be able to motivate and inspire the members of their team to do the best possible job.

CFO in a meeting with the finance team
Strong leadership skills are essential

4. Analytical Skills

A CFO must be analytically strong and capable of interpreting and analyzing financial data. They must be able to spot patterns and trends in data and then apply that knowledge to make judgments and advise the firm’s board accordingly.

5. Interpersonal Aptitudes

A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) needs to be able to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with a variety of different people, including stakeholders, investors, auditors and bankers. They are also required to have the ability to negotiate and handle disputes effectively.

meeting between finance executives
Cultivating professional relationships is a key role for any CFO

6. Technical Expertise

A comprehensive understanding of accounting and financial principles, as well as a thorough understanding of tax law, are not the only requirements for a CFO. They must also have a strong grasp of technology and the ability to operate financial software.

7. Problem-Solving

A CFO needs to have strong problem-solving skills and the ability to recognize and address complex financial issues. They need to be able to think critically, basing their choices on data and statistics.

8. Integrity

Competent CFOs must be ethical and possess a high level of integrity. They must be able to make judgments consistent with the values and goals of the organization.

Education requirements for a CFO

Due to the CFO’s responsibility for overseeing the organization’s financial operations, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position is one of the most crucial in an organization. As a result, the educational prerequisites for becoming a CFO are quite demanding, but those who fulfill them will have the chance to make a big difference in their organization.

A bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or business administration is the first requirement. Given that 49% of all CFOs currently hold a master’s degree in one of these fields, this would also be advantageous.

people graduating university
Most CFOs hold master’s degree in business or finance

CFOs must have a strong understanding of financial concepts such as budgeting, accounting, investments, and taxation. They must also be aware of the financial laws and regulations that apply to the organization for which they work.

CFOs should also have several years of work experience in a financial leadership role in addition to a degree. A successful CFO will have previous experience developing financial strategies, developing and managing budgets, supervising accounting operations, and managing cash flows. 

Finally, because they will be responsible for presenting complex financial information to senior executives and board members, CFOs must have strong analytical and communication skills. 

Professional experience required to be a CFO

A CFO should have at least ten years of professional experience in the fields of financial management, accounting, taxes, and risk management. This is the minimum amount of experience required for the position.

This experience can be gained through working in a financial role in the public sector, a corporate financial department, a banking institution, a consulting business or a similar setting.

Are you looking for a CFO for your company?

Finding the right candidate for such an important position can be difficult. A successful recruiting campaign has many layers, including a thorough search of potential candidates, writing a compelling job description, and conducting interviews or focus groups to identify the best candidate.

To guarantee that the correct CFO is picked, you should also prioritize applicant vetting. Checking references, running background checks, and evaluating the candidate’s expertise and qualifications are all part of the process. Finally, with consultation from the board of directors and other top executives, the final choice should be taken.

Companies looking for high-level candidates for CFO positions can benefit from executive search. Executive search firms specialize in finding, researching, analyzing and recruiting the most skilled and qualified candidates for executive-level roles.

They are able to uncover suitable CFO candidates who are not in the typical job market by utilising their extensive networks and resources.

InHunt World and partners
InHunt World has partners in over 45 countries around the world

Executive search firms also have the knowledge and experience to evaluate and interview candidates for the best fit for the role.

Through our partners in over 45 countries worldwide, we can assist you with your search and provide local expertise of industry sectors.

We can also help establish an effective recruitment strategy by providing insight into the CFO job market and current trends.

By leveraging our expertise, you can find the best possible candidates for your CFO position.

Avatar photo This article was written by
Michael Thorp has over a decade of experience in the recruitment industry. Throughout his career, he has held various roles and gained a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the field. He has a strong track record of success in helping businesses and start-ups find the right talent to support their growth and success.