Chief Finance Officer (CFO) Responsibilities & Roles

November 17, 2021
Posted in Recruiting
November 17, 2021 Recruiterie

Chief Finance Officers are trusted with one of the most important aspects of your company — your finances. Part of a CFO’s responsibilities is ensuring that your company is utilizing your finances wisely and troubleshooting any financial risks that may stand in the way of growth. Hiring a CFO is a major investment in the future of your firm.

Hiring the right chief financial officer is now more critical than ever, given the unique challenges of the times. In the U.S., CFOs do not only have to monitor the company’s financial health but also how it will cope as the pandemic stretches on. According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, CFOs must be prepared for expected shifts in foreign tax policy, international relations, and regulatory updates apart from the typical responsibilities listed in their job descriptions.

At Recruiterie, we are dedicated to delivering the most highly qualified candidates, and the search is handled with the utmost professionalism and integrity. This starts with a good CFO job description. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to hiring a CFO to make your next hiring decision straightforward, educated, and efficient.

A Comprehensive Guide To Hiring a CFO

Chief Finance Officers (CFOs) are excellent resources for businesses to invest in. Handling a company’s finances is a monumental task that CFOs are trained and ready to take on. Financial responsibility opens up opportunities for growth within a business, so HR representatives and recruiting services should know the company goals and select the candidate that most aligns with the CFO job description. In this article, we’ll be reviewing:

CFO Job Description

Thoroughly-developed job descriptions let a candidate know what responsibilities, skills, and necessary qualifications a company is searching for when hiring for a specific role. When it comes to hiring a CFO, candidates should reflect the values and culture of your company. Below is a summary of a common CFO job description.

CFO Job Summary

A CFO job summary should include information regarding the company’s mission, goals, and objectives. Setting clear expectations throughout the job summary informs the hiring manager and candidate on what skills and requirements to evaluate.

A job summary may incorporate a list of CFO responsibilities that may be handled daily, monthly, or yearly in their role. A CFO’s most prominent responsibilities revolve around managing the financial department, reviewing and implementing money-saving strategies, and overseeing the general financial performance of the company.

Curating a well-written CFO job summary will attract qualified applicants to your company. Candidates interested in the position should be able to understand roughly what the CFO responsibilities and requirements are. Through a job summary, qualified candidates will gain insight into whether their skills match the qualifications and if they would be beneficial in helping the company achieve its goals. We’ve put together a brief list of CFO responsibilities that might be important to your business.

CFO Job Responsibilities

A Chief Finance Officer often has to fulfill multiple roles within a company. They serve as leaders, financial advisors, and strategists. Compiled below is a comprehensive list of CFO responsibilities that can be tailored to fit your company’s needs.

General CFO Responsibilities
  • Provide leadership and management to the financial department
  • Provide financial strategy recommendations to CEO/President and executive team
  • Identify and address potential financial risks for the company
  • Oversee all financial decisions, such as budgeting and auditing
  • Implement strategies and systems to improve financial performance
  • Support financial department in developing short and long term financial goals
  • Review financial reports and determine methods to reduce costs
  • Take control of financial records and documentation
  • Serve as a key point of contact for financial department and auditors
Daily CFO Responsibilities
  • Overseeing the reconciliation of income and expense reports
  • Preparing and analyzing financial statements and profit and loss reports
  • Designing financial models that will benefit different operating initiatives
  • Supervising the finance department and ensuring that all activities are current and updated

Though this list is not all-encompassing, it captures a brief look into the daily and general responsibilities of a CFO. CFO responsibilities may also vary depending on the company’s size as well as its needs and goals, so candidates should be flexible.

CFO Resume Assessment

Knowing the responsibilities of a Chief Finance Officer is just one step in the hiring process. The capability to fulfill the role requires certain skills and qualifications that a candidate should already have when applying. Your CFO job description should lay out the basic qualifications needed to successfully complete the CFO role and responsibilities.

CFO Educational Background

By establishing a resume screening process, you can ensure that the right candidates are being chosen for the next steps. A majority of companies require at least a Bachelor’s degree, if not higher. Qualified CFO candidates will likely have a Master’s degree in finance, investment, accounting, or tax and auditing.

Another strong addition to a CFO’s educational background and experience is also an understanding of technology and global communications. As more companies shift to remote and cross-border environments, having a CFO who also welcomes the role of investing in technology is beneficial.

Strong resumes should center on the field experience of the candidate and explain their previous achievements and growth. Consider including qualifications such as knowledge and experience in business and risk management in the CFO job description skills section for a more refined search.

Candidates should match or exceed the qualifications and recommended experience before being invited to move to the interview stage of the process.

CFO Interview Process

Being a CFO requires close attention to detail and an inclination to take action. Characteristics of a strong candidate may include strategic decision-making skills and a natural instinct to fill the role of a leader in any given position.

The interview process for a Chief Finance Officer may closely reflect that of a VP of Finance in that you’ll want to assess candidates for a high level of financial knowledge and experience.

CFO Interview Questions

To gain a more in-depth understanding of a CFO candidate and their qualifications, consider asking the following questions during an interview:

Describe your leadership style.

CFOs hold a high-level leadership position in the company. Their leadership style should mesh well with the current executive team’s to ensure a smooth transition from the previous CFO and effectively establish a working relationship with peers.

What is the key to a successful budget?

Reviewing, implementing, and overseeing company budgets is one of the top CFO responsibilities. Candidates should understand what makes a successful budget and how to achieve that at any level of the company.

Tell me what our company does in your own words.

A candidate interested in the CFO position should be able to demonstrate a thorough understanding of how your company’s finances currently function. Furthermore, overseeing finances at a CFO level requires extensive knowledge of the industry.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

This question has no right or wrong answer. It simply gives you a preview of what the candidate considers an accomplishment and how they prioritize work. Before the interview, identify what your company views as accomplishments and compare a candidate’s answer to the goals and objectives of your company.

Tell me about a time where you identified a problem and how you solved it.

Identifying potential or current financial risks of a company is a major responsibility of a CFO. This question allows hiring managers to see how candidates take initiative and problem-solve. It opens up the opportunity to test a candidate on their ability to make snap decisions for the good of the company.

CFO Salary

CFO salaries can vary depending on a few factors. According to LinkedIn, the estimated base compensation for a CFO ranges from $89,000 to $300,000 per year, with the median rate at $168,000. Factoring in additional compensation from bonuses, stock options, and other factors, the CFO salary range could go at $90,000 to $415,000 annually.

Though there is a rough estimate of the compensation range, salary may alter from the standard based on factors such as company size, location, candidate experience, and specific industry. Carefully consider and review each component that may affect compensation before delivering an offer.

Meet Your Next CFO Through Recruiterie

Using an executive recruiting firm can remove some of the pressure on your hiring manager’s shoulders when searching for the perfect CFO candidate.

Recruiterie offers financial recruiting services. We take the time to learn about your company and help you find the ideal fit for your needs. With over 20 years of experience in the recruiting industry, our professional team has the knowledge and skills to connect with potential candidates and deliver you a well-vetted list of the top-ranked applicants for your open position.

We’ll guide you through each phase of the process, from creating a comprehensive CFO job description to delivering the offer (and beyond, as needed), so you know exactly the steps taken to help you find you the right CFO.

Contact Recruiterie today, and get ready to meet your next Chief Finance Officer!

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