Become A Chief Financial Officer With IIM - Step by step Approach

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Become a chief financial officer with IIM - step-by-step approach

A Chief Financial Officer in an organisation has multi-discipline functions, much different and complex than the regular activities of a finance officer or an accountant. They are – 

  •  Planning Business Strategies with the Chief Executive of the organisation.
  •  Keeping a tab on systems & processes in an organisation to improve efficiency.
  • Ensure regulatory compliance timely.
  • Commercial negotiations with clients, vendors and investors.
  • Spearheads the budgeting and cash-flow planning exercises.
  • Presents financial Reports along with data-based analysis to support future decisions.

How To Become a Chief Financial Officer with IIM?

Quite a few IIMs have crafted a ten monthly course on this subject. The key objective of the course is to change the traditional mindset of the existing CFO’s role from a Financial Regulator to a holistic Business Partner. In simple words, a CFO should not only be the highest-level auditor of the organisation but also its most important guide to achieving desired business and profitability goals. The course also develops young company-sponsored CFO aspirants in a way that they may take the bull by its horns.  This course has two segments – CFO Essentials and the Future CFO.  In the first portion of the course, the basic finance roles of a CFO are covered. The second segment covers those cross-functional knowledge domains that the CFO needs to be familiar with. Understanding operation, business, design and digital monitoring systems are some of the subjects that a Chief Financial Officer needs to learn these days. A student in this course must pass both segments to qualify for the course.

Readiness for a Chief Financial Officer Course

As mentioned above, a CFO’s role may be broadly divided into two portions – 1) Operational Role and 2) Strategic Role. The operational role includes overseeing Finance & Accounts & Reporting, Tax, Audit, Controls and Compliance. The strategic role includes activities in Risk Management, Fund Raising (Debt & Equity), Investments, Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Strategy.

The Chief Financial Officer’s role is pure no-nonsense activity (a custodian’s role) where there is little room for making mistakes. A qualified chartered accountant is an ultimate choice for a CFO in the majority of cases. However, a techie with an MBA in finance and reasonable market experience may also be chosen as a CFO, provided the candidate has the will and the ability to learn and master core skills like Financial Modeling, etc. within a short time. Nowadays, digital transformation is in demand even in the Finance sector and hence a Techie shall have a clear-cut upper hand in this.

The basic traits of an ideal or aspiring CFO are:

  1. Statistical Numbers should be at their fingertips 
  2. Should have more than basic knowledge for a cocktail of professions and
  3. Following a sequence of processes diligently and rigorously. 

However, these traits do not develop overnight. They take years of hard work, smart understanding, applying and predicting capabilities with excellent insights on cross-functional domains. So, getting to learn the business, its operation and transactional aspects at the ground level is of utmost importance irrespective of the fact whether the candidate has completed CA or not. A candidate is ready to take up the challenge of a Chief Financial Officer role only when the above conditions are met to the fullest of his / her and the organisation’s satisfaction. Then only should a candidate be recommended for Chief Financial Officer Executive Training in IIMs or any other reputed institutes? 

Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

All the above-mentioned three portfolios fall under the C-Suite of an organisation. The Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Financial Officer report to the Chief Executive Officer, who in turn reports to the Board of Directors of the organisation. Though the roles of these three positions are very different and unique on their own, they share overlapping functional responsibilities too.

The CEO’s role is to devise company policies, strategic goals, growth functioning of different departments and the performance of other C-suite executives of the organisation. The CEO represents the organisation, both internally and externally. The COO’s role is in monitoring day-to-day activities in operations, marketing, sales, strategy, culture, research & planning.

Chief financial officer is the highest position for financial matters and is assigned the following responsibilities like financial management, cost curtailment, revenue growth, monitoring company cash flow, and maintaining investor and partner relations. Nowadays, Chief Financial Officers are also expected to master the understanding of cross-functional aspects so that they transform themselves from the role of a regulator/auditor to that of a full-fledged business partner. 

Three top officials in an organisation are said to be its three foundation pillars. Careful analysis of their roles and responsibilities exhibits they have many aspects in common. In fact, almost all key decisions of the organisation are taken by the Chief Executive after having several rounds of joint and one-to-one meetings with the Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Financial Officer. 


A Chief Financial Officer is one of the most prestigious jobs that you will ever come across. The CFO Programme at Imarticus is an online as well as an offline course that will guide you to achieve your goal. The duration of the course is 12 months. Classes are taken on Saturday and Sunday. This course will prepare you for the corporate world out there. 

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