Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Job Description & Template

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Job Description & Template

Here is an effective Chief Financial Officer (CFO) job description template you can use to attract the right candidates. Find out how to hire one, their salary, and more.

Hiring a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) can be the game-changer your company needs to drive financial growth and stability.

We'll give you a CFO job description template you can use to attract the right candidate for your business. Discover what a CFO does, the salary range in the US, the best way to hire a CFO and more.

Further Reading:

Find out the Benefits of Hiring a CFO and nine steps to finding the right candidate.

Get a set of 50 CFO Interview Questions you should ask, the ideal answers, and red flags to look out for.

What Does a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Do?

A Chief Financial Officer is an executive who steers a company's financial direction and maintains strong fiscal health and growth.

They set financial goals, oversee cash flow and financial planning, manage risk, and analyze data to drive informed decisions. They also decide the company's capital structure, financing options, and investment areas.

In short, the CFO balances day-to-day operations with long-term financial strategy.

You can hire full-time or fractional CFOs. While both are attractive options, a fractional CFO will offer you all the advantages of a full-time CFO -- at a fraction of the cost.

Below is a CFO job description template you can use to attract top-notch candidates for this role.

CFO Job Description Template

About Us

< Include a clear description of your company and its focus areas. >

CFO Job Description

We are looking for a strategic Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to manage our financial operations and accelerate company growth.

In this role, you will report to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) as a member of our executive team. You will manage the company's financial planning, risk management, and financial reporting. You will also collaborate with the executive management team to develop our financial strategies, optimize our financial performance, and ensure regulatory compliance.

The ideal candidate is results-driven, analytical, and adept at financial forecasting. They bring a proven track record of managing finance teams in high-growth environments and possess strong leadership and strategic planning skills.

Key CFO Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic leadership and oversight of all financial operations, accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and financial planning.
  • Optimize financial processes to improve efficiency and accuracy across the organization.
  • Develop forecasts and analyze financial reports, KPIs, and financial data to assess organizational performance and identify areas for improvement and cost optimization.
  • Present accurate financial reports, forecasts, and analyses to the board and executive team.
  • Partner with executive leadership to provide strategic financial guidance and support for major business decisions, mergers, acquisitions, and other strategic initiatives.
  • Manage tax optimization and compliance to maximize tax benefits and comply with regulations.
  • Coordinate audits and ensure compliance with financial regulations and standards.
  • Develop financial strategies by forecasting facilities, capital, and personnel needs.
  • Decide on investment strategies by evaluating cash and liquidity risks.
  • Manage treasury functions to optimize the organization's cash and financial assets.
  • Serve as the main liaison with external auditors, investors, financial institutions, and other key stakeholders on financial matters. 
  • Perform risk management by analyzing the organization's liabilities and investments.
  • Raise capital and build a comprehensive fundraising strategy to support growth.
  • Negotiate with vendors and optimize contracts to achieve favorable terms.
  • Implement and scale new systems to support expanding operations and efficiency.
  • Establish and maintain effective internal controls, policies, and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance, mitigate financial risks, and maintain legal and ethical standards.
  • Hire, lead, and mentor a team of finance and accounting professionals, building a culture of excellence, continuous improvement, and ethical conduct.

Required Experience and Skills

  • Five or more years of experience as CFO, finance officer, or a relevant role
  • Expertise in financial analysis, forecasting, and financial modeling
  • Strategic financial insight and innovative thinking
  • Proficiency in financial risk assessment and mitigation
  • Balanced decision-making with ethical integrity
  • Experience in corporate finance, mergers, and acquisitions
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills across stakeholders and departments
  • Expertise in leveraging technology to automate financial processes and improve efficiency
  • Knowledge of accounting and corporate finance principles, regulations, and best practices
  • Ability to strategize and solve problems
  • Strong leadership and organizational skills
  • An analytical mind, comfortable with numbers
  • Proficiency with financial software

Required Qualifications

  • BSc/BA in Accounting, Finance, or a relevant field
  • Master's degree (or equivalent experience) in accounting, finance, or business administration

Preferred qualifications:

  • Professional certifications such as CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) or CPA (Certified Public Accountant)

Salary and Perks

  • Competitive salary with performance-based bonuses
  • Stock options or equity packages
  • Healthcare coverage, including medical, dental, and vision plans
  • Paid time off policy and flexible working arrangements
  • Wellness programs and gym memberships
  • Relocation assistance

FAQs on CFO Salary, Reporting, and Hiring

1. What is the Reporting Structure of a CFO?

A CFO usually reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and is a member of the senior executive team.

They work closely with other C-suite executives, including the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), and others.

2. What is a CFO's Team Structure?

A chief financial officer often has several direct reports, including financial managers or directors, accounting managers, and sometimes IT heads. In larger organizations, the CFO may also oversee the treasury, audit, tax, and corporate finance departments.

3. What is a CFO's Typical Career Path?

A CFO's typical career path often begins with a foundational finance, accounting, or business degree.

Early career stages usually involve roles like Financial Analyst, Accountant, or Controller, where they gain extensive experience in financial management and operations.

They then progress through senior roles such as Director of Finance or VP of Finance, developing leadership and decision-making skills. 

4. What are the Challenges in Finding/Hiring the Right CFO?

Hiring the right chief financial officer can be challenging because the candidate must have a unique combination of financial acumen, strategic vision, and leadership abilities.

They must fit into the company culture, as they work closely with top executives.

The competitive job market makes it tough to attract top talent. (Our CFO job description template should help you with that.) And, the high level of responsibility raises the stakes.

Moreover, assessing a candidate's ability to drive growth and manage risks requires careful evaluation, making the hiring process time-consuming and complex.

5. What's the Difference Between a CFO, an Accountant, and a Financial Controller?

While the chief financial officer provides strategic oversight and long-term financial strategy, accountants and controllers deal with operational and tactical financial details.

An accountant handles day-to-day financial tasks like bookkeeping, tax preparation, and financial reporting.

Meanwhile, a financial controller manages accounting operations, ensuring accurate financial statements and compliance with regulations.

6. What are the Future Trends that Will Impact the CFO Role?

In the future, a CFO will have to increasingly rely on financial data analytics for decision-making and integrate AI and automation to streamline financial processes. To maintain a competitive edge, CFOs must stay ahead of technological advancements and regulatory changes.

An emphasis on sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors will shape financial strategies. Additionally, remote work dynamics and global economic shifts require adaptability and innovative financial planning. 

7. What is the Salary Range of a Full-Time CFO in the US?

The average base salary of a full-time chief financial officer in the US in 2024 is around $228,870. The total compensation, including benefits (bonuses, profit sharing, commissions, etc.), is over $315,600.

This may vary based on experience, industry, location, and company size.

But you don't need to hire a full-time CFO.

You can hire a fractional executive who offers the same benefits at a fraction of the cost. (See below.)

8. What Is a Fractional CFO, and What Are the Benefits of Hiring One?

A fractional CFO is a seasoned financial leader who will work for your company part-time without the commitment of a full-time package.

Although a full-time CFO is often the default choice for companies, not everyone realizes that hiring a fractional CFO is an excellent alternative. Here's why:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Full-time executives are paid hefty compensation packages, but a fractional CFO is paid a monthly retainer without bonuses, equities, payroll taxes, 401(k) plans, or other overheads. This allows companies to significantly cut costs while still accessing top-tier talent.

    Fractional CFOs hired through platforms like Go Fractional earn between $10,000 and $20,000 per month, totaling $120,000 to $240,000 annually. They often work part-time for multiple companies, enabling them to earn a substantial annual income from various sources.

  • Flexibility: You can scale the fractional CFO's involvement up or down based on your needs.

  • Broad Expertise: Fractional CFOs offer specialized skills and experience from working with several companies, providing fresh perspectives. They can swiftly assess and address financial challenges, leading to quicker results and ROI.

  • Objective Perspective: Fractional CFOs provide an unbiased, outsider perspective, invaluable for identifying inefficiencies and uncovering missed opportunities.

Overall, we've observed that engaging the right candidate on a fractional or part-time basis can often yield better results than hiring full-time employees.

Cheryl Heller profile image
Cheryl Heller
  1. Analysis
  2. Fractional CFO
Fractional CFO | Strategic Advisor | Financial Executive

9. How Can You Hire a Fractional CFO?

The best way to hire a fractional CFO is through Go Fractional.

Go Fractional offers access to a curated pool of experienced fractional talent, including seasoned fractional CFOs. Our rigorous screening ensures they meet the highest standards of expertise and professionalism, saving you the time and effort of an independent executive search.

Josh Yelen, CPA, MBA profile image
Josh Yelen, CPA, MBA
  1. Strategic Vision & Leadership
  2. Analytics
  3. QuickBooks Certified
  4. Fundraising
Fractional CFO | Fund Manager | Venture Capitalist | Entrepreneur | Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®) | Start-up Advisor | CPA

How Hiring through Go Fractional Works

  • Connect with Go Fractional by specifying your candidate requirements, including industry experience, skills, and availability.

  • We will match you with fractional CFOs who meet your criteria.

  • You can then schedule interviews and discussions with the potential candidates.

  • After you identify the right fit, we will handle contract negotiation, administrative tasks, and ongoing support.

  • Go Fractional candidates set their own rates, which depend on the agreed amount and monthly hours required. Rates typically range from $100 to $500 an hour, with candidates working between 5 to 35 hours a week.

This way, you get seasoned fractional talent who can start immediately.

So, if you need a CFO with experience solving your specific problem, a successful track record, and the ability to elevate your team, you should hire them through Go Fractional.

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