The job role of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is one of great influence and responsibility. Only people with true ambition, willpower, and hard work can reach this goal. It is a vital position and is all about leadership, power, planning and financial sense. People with a growth mindset in the field of Finance often desire to be a CFO. It is one of the senior-most roles for finance professionals. Most working professionals are opting for Financial Markets Certification courses to move up the ladder in their Finance career.
What does a CFO do?
Let’s understand the duties of a CFO in brief. This will give the aspirants an idea of what they are getting into.
The CFO has a wide range of duties and accountability. They monitor the organization’s financial operations and are responsible for developing revenue streams and driving business strategy. They look for creative ways with the least risk for raising capital for several purposes, such as expansion, product development or modernization. They must technologically be competent to integrate technology into their operations.
Today, CFOs influence almost all areas of their organizations, from budgets to human resources to IT. A CFO works closely with the CEO and influences important decisions regarding business strategy, thus acting as a strategic adviser. They are also part of the board responsible for corporate investment in most organizations. Their role even extends to managing their team of finance professionals and working with internal and external parties on financial matters about the organization.
Steps to become a CFO
From taking the right education to making the right connections, there are some strategic steps one needs to take to become a CFO. Let’s have a look.
Further your education
CFO is a very senior position in an organization, and they are expected to perform a wide variety of functions and be an expert on financial matters. Thus, one needs to enhance their education and gain relevant experience to hold such a responsible position. Today, there are many ways to become a CFO. People aspiring to be a CFO mostly opt for a business degree or a specialized finance program.
Improve and expand your skillset
The role of a CFO is very technical. They ensure that the organization’s decisions are financially sound. They are, thus, expected to be a master of accounting, budgeting, analysis, and compliance principles. Look for job opportunities, such as that of a financial analyst, auditor, or accountant. This will give you the exposure and experience of how to manage the books, handle reporting requirements and make decisions about expenditures and acquisitions. Gaining a Financial market certification can help in building the necessary technical skills.
Improve your leadership and communication skills
A CFO has to act as a leader and a manager most of the time. Thus, developing leadership skills can go a long way in achieving your goal of being a CFO. They must be able to lead in the boardroom and confidently convey their decisions that are in the best interests of the company.
Anyone aspiring to be a CFO should work on developing qualities, such as solid communication, presentation, and team-building skills. Enrolling in highly reputed Indian Institute of Management courses is one of the best ways to develop the required skillset.
Enhance your cross-functional knowledge of the organization
As already mentioned, a CFO has to perform wide-ranging responsibilities. They make financial decisions that affect the whole organization and are expected to work in collaboration with managers and executives of different departments. That is why CFOs need to have a thorough understanding of their company, its profitable sectors, and the risks it faces. When you know about the different areas in your organization, then only you’ll be able to guide them financially.
Stay updated on any relevant developments
Any relevant developments in the field of technology, cybersecurity and financial markets are necessary for CFOs to know. An understanding of the implications of these developments and ongoing trends on the organization’s bottom line will give the company a competitive edge and eliminate any risks.
Leading the financial activities of a company is no easy job. One needs to be well prepared for it. Imarticus Learning is there to help aspiring individuals. Our Postgraduate Certificate Programme for Emerging CFOs is designed to help learners master new-age financial skills. It is made in collaboration with IIM Indore faculty and is 12 months long.
Our IIM Indore CFO program is created to prepare you for the CFO role by equipping you with strategic, analytical and tech-focused skills. Achieve your dreams with Imarticus Learning by enrolling in the course today!