How Much Does a CFO Make?

Many people outside the financial industry as well as those with aspirations to advance in their accounting career wonder how much a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) makes. The exact earnings of a chief financial officer (CFO) can vary depending on the size of the employer and the payment structure that is in place for top-level executives. The experience and educational background of a CFO can also make a difference in the yearly salary that is paid.

Average Salaries

A CFO that manages a small or medium business can make anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 each year. A CFO that is working for a larger company, a multinational company or a company that is publicly traded can make upwards of one million dollars each year.

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The salaries of many CFOs are publicly known because the law requires that companies publish this information at the end of the year.

Educational Requirements

The primary educational requirements for a CFO are related to finance and economics. Most positions require a master’s in business administration, a master’s in finance or a master’s degree in a related business field. Economics and accounting are the two majors that are of most interest because they deal most directly with the job. A CFO is also expected to take continuing education courses while working to expand existing knowledge and to keep up with the changing financial tools that are being used in the markets.

Other Requirements

The exact requirements for a CFO might be slightly different for each company. There are also some situations where the title of CFO is rewarded as an honor so the employee might not have the correct qualifications. Most CFOs are required to be a certified public accountant (CPA). This involves passing a series of tests. It can also help to complete the chartered financial analyst (CFA) programs that are available. Membership in professional associations can also be helpful depending on the size of the company.

Job Duties

A CFO is in charge of nearly all financial aspects of a company. The primary responsibilities of a CFO are to generate and check financial reports, verify accounting records and consult with other executives to help develop business strategies. A CFO can also be in charge of managing entire departments including micromanaging different aspects of a business in order to make targeted financial improvements. Large companies that are publicly traded will require a CFO to meet with investors and shareholders to answer questions or propose new directions for the business. Well-known companies might have the CFO act as an intermediary between the company and the media.

Attributes Of a Successful CFO

A successful CFO must have a firm and deep understanding of the concepts of finance, business and accounting. An affinity for math and statistics is very important. A CFO must also be aggressive and personable since there is a large amount of competition for each position. A working CFO must be creative and innovative in order to come up with new ideas for the business and figure out solutions to current fiscal problems. When wondering exactly how much does a CFO make it is important to consider the success of the individual. Higher salaries are paid to more successful CFOs.

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