How to Become a CFO. "Full-time in-house (CFOs) are expensive, so having a fractional CFO bridges the gap," said Vazza. Becoming the CEO (chief executive officer) of a bank is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of hard work and a little luck. Eight months after being hired, he was offered the CFO position, leapfrogging the controller who hired him. Few, if any, financial professionals become CFO by accident. Entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly popular career choice... How to Become a Chief Operating Officer (COO). A good CFO should also be able to become the CEO; therefore, a good CFO should have operational experience. It’s one of the elite positions in any company, and usually commands a large salary. All rights reserved. "External relationships are important, too, with bankers, capital markets, peers in other companies and professional associations," he adds. Rather than just a passing understanding of numbers, a thorough understanding of accounting is crucial for a CFO, said Wentworth. What proved critical to Vazza's professional success as a CFO and business consultant was the CFA exam, which he likened to taking a "three-year exam." 6. Most importantly, every CEO needs to have key leadership qualities. Yet, the route to achieving that coveted role can seem confusing, leading many people to feel as though it remains just out of reach. Since CFOs typically land the job by working their way up through the ranks, the next step is to find an entry-level position in the accounting or finance department of an organization. Yes, the CFO typically reports to the CEO. Good Luck! In his lengthy professional career, Wentworth has been the CFO of several businesses. Tasked with ensuring the business retains a positive financial outlook, no new undertakings, ventures or partnerships ever happen without the go-ahead from the CFO. Get Operational Experience. When you become a CEO, your job is to own this vision and communicate it to everyone else. The Lean CFO: Architect of the Lean Management System by Nicholas S. Katko. Earning a bachelor’s in accounting is a common and effective first step for students pursuing a CFO position.According to Business Insider, which surveyed 100 top-earning CFOs at … All of the CFOs we talked to received an undergraduate degree, and 88% have their master’s degree. That helps ensure that part of the CFO’s compensation is performance-based. You do not need 10, 15, or 20 years of experience in corporate finance at a large company to become the CFO of an early-stage startup. Conversation. The qualification that more often leads to the CFO corner office is a chartered accountant certification. This comes by having a conversation with a partner (if you have one). Scholarships for Becoming a CFO You do not need 10, 15, or 20 years of experience in corporate finance at a large company to become the CFO of an early-stage startup. Expanded roles can lead to experience in cybersecurity, big data analysis, and cloud computing, which can all be beneficial skills for those pursuing a CFO job. Whether choosing an online or a brick-and-mortar program, earning a Master of Science in Accounting can put graduates on paths toward leadership positions, such as CFO. How to. There are plenty of ways to pursue this kind of job and plenty of CFO training programs that can provide a boost along the way. It takes a lot of meticulous planning, preparation, and hard work to reach to the CFO position which is indeed scarce because most companies have only one CFO. While in the past a company’s CFO traditionally focused on its finances, as the business world has evolved over the last several decades, the expectations and demands placed on CFOs have intensified. According to Vazza, the average pay for a CFO is "in the six figures.".