A Chief Financial Officer, commonly abbreviated as CFO, is the supervisor of all financial operations in a company. A CFO handles all of the company’s transactions and other finance-related procedures, observes the flow of cash and makes sure expenditures are controlled tightly. A CFO is usually under the supervision of the company’s Chief Executive Officer, though in some cases he/she may have more freedom in their actions. While a CFO will usually be a constant part of a company’s team, normally reaching the position after climbing up the career ladder in the company, some companies employ external CFOs on a temporary basis to help them organize their finances in a troubled period.
A degree in either finances, economics or accounting is required to become a CFO, and while a Bachelor’s degree will be sufficient in many cases, some high-ranking companies require candidates to produce a Master’s degree. Good people skills are sought as well, as CFOs commonly coordinate their actions with both their subordinates and superiors, and may be involved in dealing with the company’s clients as well. Contract CFOs need to display a good working history and experience.
Chief Financial Officers have great earning potentials in most cases, though of course it depends on the company to a large extent. The median salary for 2009 was $95,000, and some CFOs are able to earn up to $181,000 per year, with some rare cases of salaries over $200,000 when the level of experience is truly outstanding.