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Title of CFO: In Need of More Marketing?

Title of CFO: In Need of More Marketing?

Most financial professionals are well aware of the chief financial officer role, but many are more focused on their path to the CEO post than that of finance chief, according to a recent CFO Magazine interview with

Most financial professionals are well aware of the chief financial officer role, but many are more focused on their path to the CEO post than that of finance chief, according to a recent CFO Magazine interview with finance executive researcher Dhananjay "DJ" Nanda.

In the interview, Nanda, an accounting professor at the University of Miami's MBA program, told the publication that most students vying for an MBA think of themselves as CEOs, with coporate finance positions serving as steps towards that ultimate goal.

Nanda, who will appear as a speaker at the publication's Playbook for Private Companies conference in Miami next month, added that the university's MBA program has made an effort to attract more students to corporate finance positions.

"These are young [recent] undergrads, and when they get into accounting, they think of themselves as working in public accounting," Nanda says. "One of the things we’ve tried to do is get CFOs to come in and talk about their roles, [especially CFOs who were previously in public accounting]."

The professor explained that while participation in the school's recently established corporate finance track has not yet flourished, the CFO meet-and-greets should draw more students, particularly if recruiting practices are improved as well.

Another factor that could lead to increased interest in the chief financial officer role is that the responsibilities that come with this position are expanding to take on more of a strategic perspective.

This transition can be seen in a number of recent surveys in which CFOs acknowledge the fact that they have become much more involved in strategic planning, information technology operations and the hiring process.

Each of these responsibilities has a long-term focus, which is increasingly significant for finance chiefs who are fully concerned with the bottom line at their companies.

With this ever-changing role in mind, Nanda notes that today's students are fully prepared for the path towards chief financial officer, even if many are ultimately more focused on the long-term CEO post.

"Students today are much more adept at using information technology, and things like cloud computing and social media are second nature to them," Nanda says. "They’ll pick up new systems quickly, which can be very helpful in recruiting."