Whats Is a Chief Financial Officer?


You Will Learn.

  • What does a Chief Financial Officer do?
  • What are the responsibilities of a Chief Financial Officer?
  • How to become a Chief Financial Officer?
  • What is the average salary of a Chief Financial Officer?
  • Who employs a Chief Financial Officer?
  • What are the progression opportunities for a Chief Financial Officer?
  • What makes a good Chief Financial Officer?
  • Where are the latest Chief Financial Officer jobs and how can you apply for them
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What Does a Chief Financial Officer Do?

A Chief Financial Officer is a top-level executive, responsible for managing a company’s financial actions. A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is often the most senior financial position within a company and overall, the third highest position in terms of seniority. 

In most companies, the Finance Director will report to the Chief Financial Officer, meaning the role also entails understanding their responsibilities. 

What Are the Responsibilities of a Chief Financial Officer?

A Chief Financial Officer is in charge of anything relating to financial planning, taxation, and cash flow and has a high level of input into managing a company’s incomings and outgoings. Forecasting, cost-benefit analysis, and assisting the Chief Executive Officer are also important parts of CFO jobs in the UK. 

While working as a Chief Financial Officer, you will be required to: 

  • Track a company’s cash flow, including its incomings and expenses.
  • Lead a team of finance professionals.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with lenders, insurers and pension providers.
  • Oversee a company’s budget in line with its business strategy.
  • Create a detailed forecast for a company’s financial future.
  • Liaise with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Analyse the company’s financial strengths and weaknesses.
  • Ensure that the company’s financial reports are accurate and completed on time.
  • Create and implement new team structures.
  • Achieve agreed financial growth objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions

To work as a Chief Financial Officer, you will need a degree in a relevant field, such as accounting or finance. An academic background in finances, economics, financial analysis or investment banking is also important for becoming a Chief Financial Officer. 

Generally speaking, a CFO will have advanced educational qualifications such as Chartered Financial Analyst designation or a Master of Finance. However on occasions, a person may choose to obtain a degree in business and then a Master of Business Administration. 

Typically, a Chief Financial Officer would have a bachelors and masters degree in accounting or a field related to finance, and will also have obtained the ACCA Qualification

In most cases, a Chief Financial Officer will have earnt their title after many years in the industry and thanks to an established track record, as well as any relevant qualifications. 

Through independent research conducted by Spencer Clarke Group, the average salary of an Chief Financial Officer is:

  • London - £144,000
  • Manchester - £100,828
  • Birmingham/Wolverhampton - £143,215
  • Leeds/Bradford - £127,916
  • Liverpool - £100,000
  • Newcastle - £85,000

Salaries can vary depending on factors such as the size and industry of the company, as well as the CFO's level of experience and qualifications. CFOs may also receive bonuses and other benefits that can significantly increase their total compensation.


What are the perks of the job? 

Popular perks of the job for Chief Financial Officers include:

  • Private health care.
  • Private dental care.
  • Pension scheme. 
  • Hybrid working. 
  • Performance related bonuses.

A Chief Financial Officer can be employed by both a public or private sector company. For example, any big corporations such as McDonalds, John Lewis and Virgin Media, all employ a Chief Financial Officer. 

Despite sitting on the executive board and being the third most senior member of a company, a Chief Financial Officer will still have to report to the Chief Executive Officer and work closely with the board of directors. 

What Makes a Good Chief Financial Officer?

Key skills of a Chief Financial Officer include: 

  • Time management to ensure a company’s financial reports are completed on time.
  • Leadership to manage a team of finance professionals and oversee the work of the Finance Director.
  • Problem solving to successfully analyse a company’s financial strengths and weaknesses.
  • Good communication to effectively liaise with stakeholders.
  • Data skills to understand and present a forecast of the company’s financial future. 
  • Attention to detail to accurately track the company’s cash flow.
  • Good listening skills to effectively manage and earn the respect of other employees. 
  • Reliability to prove you can be trusted with important financial decision making. 
  • Ambition to reach the financial goals of the company.
  • Organisational skills to manage a busy day to day workload.

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