What Is a CFO?

A chief financial officer (CFO) is the leading financial strategy expert for an organization’s leadership team. A CFO is what a CEO and other members of the C-suite rely on for economic wisdom. They provide financial realism to company goals and initiatives. 

What Is a CFO in a Business?

In the hierarchy of a business, a CFO is the top financial position, often leading the entire finance and accounting departments. While they may not complete financial planning and month-end reporting tasks themselves, CFOs delegate and manage the completion of those tasks. 

Who Do CFOs Manage?

Aside from the other roles of a CFO, they have several leadership responsibilities—particularly in managing and overseeing other employees in the finance department. Generally, most CFOs manage the following roles:

  • Accountants
  • Controller
  • Treasurer
  • Bookkeeper

Management of these roles may be further divided. For example, you may hire a controller to manage multiple accountants. But while your CFO may not directly manage each position, they are involved in the overall strategy and execution of financial duties.

Why Do Businesses Need a CFO?

Businesses need a CFO when they want to grow their business but aren’t sure how to organize their finances. CFOs may also help an organization become more financially efficient. They may complete these tasks by:

  • Finding investors: CFOs frequently have an array of professional connections, many of whom are investors willing to fund new or developing business ventures.
  • Analyzing profitability and financial strategy: With the help of your other financial employees, CFOs can analyze financial statements and reports, paint an accurate picture of your current financials, and make improvements to your strategy going forward.
  • Gaining financial expertise: CFOs have years of experience in a wide range of industries, which can offer your business the financial expertise needed to develop and grow.

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