3 answers

What does it take to become a CFO?

Asked Creedmoor, North Carolina

3 answers

Richard’s Answer

Updated Miami, Florida

Currently - most CFOs are CPAs (Certified Public Accountants). To become a CPA, you need 150 credit hours, and need to pass the CPA exam, which has four parts. Then, most CFOs have a lot of professional working experience. At a minimum, I would say you would need at least 10-12 years of working experience, but that can vary based on the size of the company hiring and several other factors. There are several other routes to become a CFO, such as getting an MBA. See the link provided for a little more detailed information on what it takes to become a CFO.

https://www.roberthalf.com/blog/salaries-and-skills/how-to-plot-your-steps-on-the-cfo-career-path

Jess’s Answer

The best way to see what it would take to be a CFO is to search for open CFO roles at company's. You may find this on LinkedIn or just by googling. Then you can look at what the requirements are in the job description and posting. It would likely include being a CPA and many years or experience in the business.

Umber’s Answer

External Audit>FLDP Rotations>FP&A, Controllership, Treasury> CFO

The smaller the company, the less steps seem to be necessary. But most big companies will have you do a rotation in multiple business units or functions.

For the F100, this is kind of interesting: http://www.russellreynolds.com/insights/thought-leadership/where-do-cfos-come-from

Obviously, the larger the company, the more important deal-making and m&a exposure become.

Or, you can leave public accounting and become the CFO of a small startup pretty easily like one of my professors did.