Corporate controller

Published on November 11th, 2014 | by Day Trader

Who’s the Ideal CFO?

Financial jobs

When it comes to finding capable CFO’s, is the term “strategist” overused?
Point being, when we look at analytic data about “what makes a good CFO,” finding a so-called strategist is often the sticking point about what separates the men from the boys (or the women from the girls). But the plain fact is that being a sharp strategist is a facet of many financial management jobs, that of CFO’s in particular, and should be an assumed trait, not the “secret weapon” of an ideal candidate… for that, they’ll need to come up with something more magical.
Here’s a list of characteristics that make for a good CFO… and yes, it includes the ‘S’ word.
High Ethical Standards and Unyielding Integrity
As the chief financial custodian,you need to be able to trust a CFO with the greatest of confidence. Anything else just doesn’t cut it.
Above Average Accounting, Cash Management and Corporate Finance Skills(/strong>
It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised… Successful CFO’s need a strong accounting background and a history of financial management jobs. Although being a CPA is not a necessity, it definitely doesn’t hurt.
Business Know-How and Strong Knowledge of the Company
Your ideal CFO is not only going to understand the numbers and what to do with them, they’re also going to understand the business model and basic company operations – a bigger picture view allows for better decision making.
Keen Work Ethic
Your best CFO is a tireless leader. Your less-than-ideal CFO leaves promptly at 5.
Sometimes CFO’s have to impart unpopular decisions. That’s not to say that they need to always be right, but the ideal candidate can confidently take a stand.
Mind-frame for Results
A great CFO isn’t afraid to make changes for the better outcome and has the ability to analyze scenarios to see where changes must be implemented.
Whatever it takes, whenever…
Leadership and Strategic Vision
The CFO will be leading the financial departments and the corresponding management team, so they need to be able to drive the ship with authority… some charisma helps. Being someone that’s good with numbers is the basis, but the CFO needs to also be able to think strategically and have sharp communication skills.
Problem-Solving Ninja
Always looking for ways to make it a win-win scenario
Sharp Communication Skills
A good CFO will answer most of your questions going into a situation before you have a chance to ask.
There are many different kinds of financial management jobs, and some are more demanding of your personality than others. If you love crunching numbers, there are plenty of jobs in accounting and finance and jobs in financial services that don’t require all of the hard-line traits listed above. But CFO’s, like the ever-elusive sales wizard, need a blend of analytic skills and communication prowess that make them a sought after commodity.

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