What does a Chief Financial Officer do?

Now more than ever, the CFO has a critical role to play in helping organisations and companies grow and adapt to a changing business landscape. In essence, he or she keeps an organisation going strong.

The basic job description of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is to oversee and manage a company’s finances. Because of the diversity of settings for CFO positions, the typical day-to-day duties of a CFO may vary widely. However, there are three basic areas of responsibility common to most CFO positions, Accounting and Reporting: The CFO is responsible for keeping accurate financial records and for reporting on a company’s financial status. In a small company or organisation, the CFO may handle basic accounting duties and directly produce monthly and annual financial reports. In a larger corporation, the CFO’s duties shift more toward analysis, oversight, and management. CFO’s of larger institutions typically present an annual financial report to the organisation’s board of directors.

Management and Budgeting: In a smaller organisation, the CFO will directly oversee matters like cash flow, salaries and budgeting, and investments. A CFO of a large corporation, on the other hand, will have more of an oversight and administrative role with respect to management and budgeting, deciding on pay scales and allocation of resources based on reports from division managers.
Other areas of responsibility include areas like risk management, investment strategy, and capital investment.

Strategy and Planning: In all types and sizes of organisations, CFOs are increasingly partnering with CEOs and corporate boards to help with long-term strategic planning. Within a company, they help evaluate productivity and search for areas of efficiency that can be developed to further enhance profitability. They are called upon to use their knowledge of markets, funding sources, and the general economic outlook to help companies make better decisions about risk and the allocation of resources.


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