Those who desire to hold one of the highest finance positions that a company has to offer may question what a typical day for a CFO looks like. Business professionals sometimes find that the work day of a Chief Financial Officer or CFO varies depending on factors like company size and the industry in which the organization operates. However, there are many activities that utilize the quantitative, interpersonal and leadership skills that a typical CFO would have acquired and mastered over the years. Here are some standard activities that business professionals can expect to accomplish if they attain the position of CFO.
Giving Input on Company Investment Strategy
CFOs of large organizations usually oversee teams of investment strategists that are led by Finance Directors. While the Finance Director and their team develop the company investment strategy, the one who reviews and approves the important management document is the CFO. Because the CFO duties ultimately include being responsible for all financial aspects of company operations, he or she typically gives valuable input based upon their extensive experience that is used to guide the company’s future growth. Corporate CFOs typically sit on the board of directors for their organizations. After providing input and approving the investment strategy planning documentation, the CFO presents this key investment road map to the other members of the board. The CFO is responsible for presenting the information in a way that attracts prospective shareholders.
Liaise with Heads of Departments on Financial Matters
Nearly all functions of a company must reach out to the head of financial affairs at one time or another. While advice on their individual budgets and spend plans typically come from the Finance Director, a company’s department leads often look to the CFO to help establish employee salary structures as well as budgets for large projects requiring research and development financing. In addition to providing input on work products, a CFO usually analyzes financial statements and reports from various business units to ensure that their financial activities comply with the company’s strategic goals and objectives. For example, a company department head may have funded a special project because it addressed a specific, immediate need. However, the project is susceptible to future termination if the CFO does not recognize it as an initiative that directly ties to the company’s investment strategy.
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Provide the Company’s Financial Face to the Public
Business professionals who reach executive level positions like CFO in their organizations become responsible for cementing the company’s brand in the hearts and minds of potential shareholders, the industry and the communities in which the company operates. CFOs interface with company public relation representatives to craft easy to understand financial data for prospective investors that show the company as able to provide great shareholder value. They also commit the company to sponsoring charity events whose themes often align with the organization’s values. CFOs generally form contacts with many professional organizations, and they work with these organizations to promote education for students and other members of the community.
Statistics show that most CFOs are certified public accountants that have moved into their company’s executive ranks. A look at the typical day for a CFO shows that the person holding this position has generally moved beyond directly handling financial transactions to become a brand building figure for their company through interactions with stakeholders.