Chief Financial Officers lead at the highest level, directing and overseeing all of their firm’s financial aspects. They also act as close advisors to the firm’s President and CEO in financial-related matters.
They hold a key position — one of the top officer roles at a firm. They analyze, develop, and implement financial and accounting systems to achieve the firm’s long- and shorter-term goals and budgets.
Chief Financial Officers need to have strong business acumen, deep understanding and experience with finance and accounting, and talent in leading. They will be responsible for making critical decisions and recommendations on aspects involving their firm’s financial situation on every level.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Advise the President and CEO
- Manage optimization of the firm’s operations and processes
- Serve as the primary point of contact with financial institutions, auditors, etc.
- Analyze, develop, and implement business performance projects and initiatives
- Oversee the firm’s fiscal operations and performance
- Supervise budgets, financial reporting, accounts, ledgers, etc.
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field; an MBA is a plus. CPA/CMA certification is also necessary. Candidates must have multiple years of experience in accounting and finance in a strategic leadership role. Previous law firm experience is highly desirable.
Skills and Competencies
- Strong skills in strategic planning, critical thinking, and problem-solving
- Expertise in numbers and financial matters
- Highly organized, analytical, and able to multitask
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Excellent time management
- Keen attention to detail
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Chief Financial Officer with
1 Year of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $70,000
- Tampa, Florida: $100,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $78,000
- Miami, Florida: $67,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $83,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $82,000
- Houston, Texas: $91,000
- Los Angeles, California: $75,000
- New York City, New York: $90,000
- Seattle, Washington: $90,000
- Overall: $85,000
5 Years of Experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $83,000
- Tampa, Florida: $110,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $88,000
- Miami, Florida: $100,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $96,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $90,000
- Houston, Texas: $113,000
- Los Angeles, California: $105,000
- New York City, New York: $130,000
- Seattle, Washington: $115,000
- Overall: $101,000
Similar Job Titles
The career path for a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) entails first obtaining a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or a related field; an MBA is a plus. Earning certification as a Certified Chief Financial Officer can help further one’s career possibilities. To become a CFO, a candidate must have multiple years of experience in accounting and finance, preferably at a law firm.
According to CFO Dive, a trend affecting this occupation is ongoing digital transformation in data. With this evolution, CFO and COO roles may merge at some companies, with the CFO managing some operational aspects for greater efficiency. Another upcoming trend is forecasting of budgets and other financial elements moving to an ongoing rolling forecast (vs. quarterly or annually), to allow for greater flexibility.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of financial managers is projected to grow 16 percent through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The work hours for a Chief Financial Officer are usually from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in an office setting.
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