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    Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Job Description


    Position Description: Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

    Comments: The content of the following job description is based on the assumption that the CFO has proper staffing to address accounting and treasury functions. If not, the CFO is probably really fufilling the job of a controller, while also handling cash management and risk planning activities on the side. See the controller and treasurer job descriptions for more information. Also, note that this position is frequently filled by people with strong fund-raising backgrounds, rather than those with accounting expertise; this is particularly likely to be the case when a strong controller is on staff who can handle all accounting functions.

    Basic Function: The chief financial officer position is accountable for the administrative, financial, and risk management operations of the company, to include the development of a financial and operational strategy, metrics tied to that strategy, and the ongoing development and monitoring of control systems designed to preserve company assets and report accurate financial results. Principal accountabilities are:

    Planning

    1. Assist in formulating the company's future direction and supporting tactical initiatives
    2. Monitor and direct the implementation of strategic business plans
    3. Develop financial and tax strategies
    4. Manage the capital request and budgeting processes
    5. Develop performance measures that support the company's strategic direction

    Operations

    1. Participate in key decisions as a member of the executive management team
    2. Maintain in-depth relations with all members of the management team
    3. Manage the accounting, human resources, investor relations, legal, tax, and treasury departments
    4. Oversee the financial operations of subsidiary companies and foreign operations
    5. Manage any third parties to which functions have been outsourced
    6. Oversee the company's transaction processing systems
    7. Implement operational best practices
    8. Oversee employee benefit plans, with particular emphasis on maximizing a cost-effective benefits package
    9. Supervise acquisition due diligence and negotiate acquisitions

    Financial Information

    1. Oversee the issuance of financial information
    2. Personally review and approve all Form 8-K, 10-K, and 10-Q filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission
    3. Report financial results to the board of directors

    Risk Management

    1. Understand and mitigate key elements of the company's risk profile
    2. Monitor all open legal issues involving the company, and legal issues affecting the industry
    3. Construct and monitor reliable control systems
    4. Maintain appropriate insurance coverage
    5. Ensure that the company complies with all legal and regulatory requirements
    6. Ensure that record keeping meets the requirements of auditors and government agencies
    7. Report risk issues to the audit committee of the board of directors
    8. Maintain relations with external auditors and investigate their findings and recommendations

    Funding

    1. Monitor cash balances and cash forecasts
    2. Arrange for debt and equity financing
    3. Invest funds
    4. Invest pension funds

    Third Parties

    1. Participate in conference calls with the investment community
    2. Maintain banking relationships
    3. Represent the company with investment bankers and investors

    Desired Qualifications: The candidate chief financial officer should have a master's degree in accounting or business administration, or equivalent business experience and 10+ years of progressively responsible experience for a major company or division of a large corporation.  Should have experience in partnering with an executive team, and have a high level of written and oral communication skills. Preference will be given to candidates with an MBA in Finance and the Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant designations.

    Additional Qualifications: If the company has extensive overseas operations, it may also be necessary to include a language requirement. If the company is a small one, then the chief financial officer may also take on the role of the controller. See the controller job description for more information. If the company operates in an industry that requires specialized accounting knowledge, then include an industry experience requirement of at least two years.

    Working Conditions: Will work in an office environment. Extensive travel to company subsidiaries will be necessary, as well as for investor road shows.

    Supervises: Controller, Tax Manager, Human Resources Manager, Investor Relations Officer


    Podcast: Accounting Best Practices podcast discussion of the CFO position - Listen Now.