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I am an Under Graduate aspiring for CFO post. Can somebody please tell me the steps to achieve the post.



Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

Gain experience working in accounting or finance offices. To be a successful CFO you will have to wear many hats and understand all aspects of the business. Get your feet wet and hands dirty; challenge and ask questions. Be a troubleshooter and a problem solver. I learn every day and wouldn't have it any other way. Most of all, have fun.

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I would just add to Christie's answer, get operational experience as well. Understand not only the business you are in, the industry and sector but how business in general works, its components and interactions.

Years ago, staying at one company was considered the norm, that is no longer the case. So decide when a strategic move to a different company is in order. Calculate how that new role will assist you in reaching your goal.

Lastly, always network and always keep your eye out for the next job. Don't become complacent.

Edward Thill
Title: VP - Finance & Operations
Company: Performance Trust
(VP - Finance & Operations, Performance Trust) |

Christie and Wayne have you off to a good start. I would add that the difference between a Controller and a CFO is often the difference between the past and the future. If you want to be a CFO, as Wayne said you need to understand the business and industry you are in. A Controller prepares the financials; a CFO interprets the story behind those financials and works at the executive level to define the dials available to drive company success. You can't gain that broad perspective unless you step outside the finance area and understand your customer base and your fulfillment model. Network internally and externally. Understand pain points of your customers and be able to articulate how your organization can help alleviate that pain -- it sounds like sales but if you don't understand that connection, you're value at the executive ranks is highly limited.

Mike Pingree
Title: Staff Accountant
Company: Global Food Ingredient Co
(Staff Accountant, Global Food Ingredient Co) |

A CFO will have their finger on all areas of a company. You need to have a working knowledge of sales, customer service, IT, marketing, manufacturing, etc.


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