A step-by-step guide to becoming a new-age CFO

A step-by-step guide to becoming a new-age CFO

The advent of technology has altered the way of working for almost every sector, and the same can be said for the financial sector. Resultantly, the work of a CFO has also changed along with the team he manages. Professionals are now using more technologies to streamline their work, and executives like CFOs are now playing a more crucial role in taking important business decisions.

So, if you are planning to become a new-age CFO, then being aware of a few strategies can be of great help.

4 Steps That Will Help You Become a New-Age CFO

To become a new–age CFO, you need to start with your education and then get the necessary experience. You need to also have the necessary technological and soft skills. Anyway, let us start with the steps.

Step 1: Get the degrees and certificates in place

Now, if you wish to become a CFO, then you need to complete your bachelor’s degree first, and that too in commerce or finance. Now, you can back this up with a master's degree, but that is optional.

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Once you are done with your bachelor’s degree, you can then opt for the professional courses, i.e. chief financial officer course conducted by many educational institutions across the country. Now, completing a certification like this is enough of a stepping stone for you to start working at a company in their finance and accounts department.

In the meantime, you can also opt for an MBA, but completing this specialisation is not necessary. Also, you can appear for the chartered accountant exam. Now, going for specialisation may not be mandatory, but it will boost your career growth further.

Step 2: Develop some soft skills and get a well-rounded experience 

Now, when you are the head of a department, having only technical skills will not cut it. Along with your theoretical knowledge, you need some soft skills that will help you manage your job better.

Here are some areas that you can focus on, just to begin with –

  1. Clarity of the job at hand
  2. Ability to take pressure
  3. Being a good communicator
  4. Courage and accountability
  5. Ability to lead a team from the front
  6. Managing and protecting team members as required
  7. Time management

CFOs also need to have some relevant experience in a senior management role where they get a chance to make decisions in various diverse areas such as human resources, investor relations, supply chain management, operations management, taxation and IT. So you need to work from a beginner position to the most coveted position in the finance area.

Step 3: Develop the necessary management skills

Being a CFO is not all about number crunching. You will report to the top management and receive input from department heads. Overall, you will need to manage yourself and multiple teams in the organisation. Your soft skills will also come in handy here as you need to communicate well with the whole hierarchy and articulate all the vision and goals while managing a project.

Step 4: Build some tech expertise

Last but not least, to become a new-age CFO, you must develop familiarity with the technological advances in this field. Since organisations are evolving digitally, you need to have some consultative capacity and also earn some great credentials in this area if you wish to fast-track your career. The use of technology is expanding, and you need to evolve in this direction as well if you want to pursue the CFO role. 

Technology automates the back-office transactional jobs with the help of software. This way, the finance team can focus on advanced analytics and strategic initiatives. The software of the company’s accounting and finance department also needs to be upgraded from a conventional local server desktop suite to an online cloud-enabled suite which allows you to automate several operational processes.

This will make the CFO’s job more secure, and they will only be at risk if they fail to interpret data and cannot make the best business decisions.

To sum up, to become a new-age CFO, you can use the aforementioned tips to your advantage. But what pushes your case is a purposeful certification from one of the top management schools in India. Hence, you can enrol for the CFO executive training IIM Indore offered by Imarticus. Certification from a top business school will only strengthen your resume and take you a step closer to your goal.

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