How To Become A CFO

Route to becoming a CFO,
Do I need an MBA to become a CFO?
The simple answer is no. A CFO’s primary responsibility is to manage the corporation’s finances including accounting coordination, financial statement preparation and raising capital. Today’s CFO is changing however and there is a responsibility to perform many of the old COO’s duties. This means today’s CFO is required to understand more than just numbers. A solid background in strategic management, product development and even marketing are all assets for a future CFO to obtain.
In a recent interview with CFO of SABIA, Inc Peter Knob loch stated the following qualities makes a good CFO: an in depth understanding of finance, an understanding of GAAP, a high level of interest, and a wide range of experience. Now when talking about experience, this doesn’t necessarily mean good experience. Some of the best learning experiences come from complete and utter failure. An individual who has never made a mistake often is lacking in depth or is not honest.
The most common route to becoming a CFO is through an accounting profession. Because of their discipline, organization and ability to present financial information appropriately and with integrity, accounting professionals make excellent CFO candidates. If this is the route you are going to take you don’t necessarily have to stay with the same company hoping to one day be noticed for the superstar you are. It’s okay to move around to different companies to gain experience. However, it’s critical to keep up with continuing professional education, especially in today’s regulatory environment.
Once you have put in your time to gain the required education and skill set the final step is to get noticed. Make yourself known. The CEO wants someone of impeccable integrity and loyalty. Network, develop contacts on the board and with your auditors.
Just an end note becoming a CFO is like any other noble life long goal. You have to believe in your abilities, you have to be a dedicated life long learner and you have to be proactive. GO OUT THERE AND GET IT.