5 Responsibilities of a Chief Financial Officer

CFO Responsibilities

  • Manage Company Financial Objectives
  • Assist With Company Financial Planning
  • Work With and Maintain Relationships With Other Executives
  • Head Financial Processes
  • Manage in Accord With Regulations

To be a chief financial officer, or CFO, is to essentially take the helm of the entirety of the financial side of a company or organization. Such a position is high stakes and high responsibility, but it also often comes with great rewards when taken on proficiently. To learn more about this executive role, one can consider some of the primary responsibilities found therein. The following are five of this position’s most important job duties.

1. Manage Company Financial Objectives

Virtually all companies hold a number of financial objectives close to the heart. These are most typically concerned with balancing achieving the very best profits and results while also taking on the lowest amount of loss and risk in the process. A toy-making company, for example, may hold the goals of limiting production costs as much as possible while also bringing in the the most sales. Likewise, a tutoring service may have the goal of somehow finding funding to expand its services into the overseas arena. Top company goals involving money are much on the duty list of the CFO.

2. Assist With Company Financial Planning

As discussed above, goals are one thing, but additionally, the company must have a way of achieving those goals. At this level of duty, the CFO may work with a team of financial experts within and outside of the company to form a plan. They will likely also work with various departments within their company in order to cooperatively align toward a common plan. Statistics, facts, the laws of economics, and plenty of collaboration are typically included in whatever planning may occur.

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3. Work With and Maintain Relationships With Other Executives

Collaboration, as touched on above, is extremely important here, as no CFO can do it all independently and alone. In fact, such collaborative spirit is so important that in the realm of CFOs working in the US government in different agencies, a law was actually passed to create the Chief Financial Officers Council – a network of CFOs bound to work together in handling many government financial matters. Similarly, within a private organization, the CFO must work quite intimately and regularly with other executives, like CEOs and CMEs, to get the job done.

4. Head Financial Processes

Leading financial processes is another key duty for every chief financial officer. The Chief Financial Officer at a property rental firm, for example, will act as the head of all financial activities such as rent collection, tax payments, investments in additional rental properties, payouts to contractors, employee compensation, and more. In most cases, the CFO doesn’t manually do each of these activities themselves, but rather, manage the delegation of these tasks to others as well as how those tasks are then handled. The CFO can and will then step in and personally act in any area here needing such attention, but general oversight is the most common assertion.

5. Manage in Accord With Regulations

Finally, staying abreast of regulations is yet another big issue for CFOs. In all company activities, there are laws and regulations that have some governing say. Whether by federal, state, or even simply local decree, it is crucial that the organization abide by these regulations. The CFO can’t and isn’t held to the responsibility of understanding all aspects of the law but certainly must be able to steer the financial side of the company’s hypothetical “ship” toward legal safety and good-standing.

The job of today’s CFO is certainly multi-dimensional. The above-mentioned duties are a chief financial officer’s primary ones but certainly not their only responsibilities.