Working as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is an exciting, rewarding opportunity to lead a company’s financial operations, have a major impact on the future of the business, and implement real change.
Whether an internal appointment or outsourced CFO services, the CFO is responsible for overseeing the financial activities of an organisation, including budgeting, forecasting, and reporting. They also work closely with other departments to ensure that the company’s financial goals are met.
We took a closer look at a typical day in the life of a Chief Financial Officer and put together all you need to know about this exciting and intriguing role.
What Are The Responsibilities of A CFO?
The responsibilities of a CFO are vast and varied. They include:
- Overseeing the budgeting, forecasting, and reporting of the organisation’s finances
- Analysing financial statements to identify areas of concern or potential opportunities for improvement
- Meeting with other department heads to discuss their respective budgets and how they can be optimised to achieve the company’s financial goals
- Reviewing contracts and deals to ensure they are in line with the company’s financial objectives
- Developing strategies to improve the company’s financial performance, such as cost-cutting initiatives or new revenue streams
- Attending meetings with investors and other stakeholders, as well as external advisors to discuss potential investments or strategies.
A Day In The Life Of A Chief Financial Officer
So, what does a day in the life of a CFO typically look like? Let’s follow Sarah for a closer look.
- An Early Start
Being CFO means plenty of responsibility, so Sarah usually finds herself at her desk for 8:30 am. This allows plenty of time for her to get comfortable, grab a much-needed cup of coffee, and check her emails for the day, jotting down the most important tasks to tackle.
Though schedules can differ depending on responsibilities, a typical day in the life of a Chief Financial Officer starts with reviewing the company’s financial performance from the previous day, week, and month.
So, Sarah spends the first part of her morning analysing financial statements, such as balance sheets and income statements, to identify any areas of concern or potential opportunities for improvement. This is a chance to really get to grips with the company’s financial health, and ensure regular updates.
- Mid-Morning Meetings
Once Sarah has a good understanding of the company’s performance, she meets with other members of the executive team to discuss any issues that have arisen and review any new initiatives or strategies that need to be implemented.
This is also an opportunity for Sarah to provide her insight into how the company can best achieve its financial goals, check in on budgets for different departments, and work with department heads to optimise their budgets to achieve the ultimate financial goals of the company.
- Lunch Time!
Even a top CFO needs to eat! It is important for Sarah to step away from the desk, stretch her muscles, and take some time to reset her mindset, ready for the challenges of the afternoon.
- Afternoon Tasks
In the afternoon, Sarah typically focuses on more administrative tasks, such as preparing reports for the board of directors and other stakeholders, or working with external auditors to ensure the company’s financial statements are accurate and up to date.
She also spends time developing strategies to improve the company’s financial performance, such as cost-cutting initiatives or new revenue streams. She will spend time, too, reviewing any pending contracts or deals that need to be signed off on, and ensuring they are in line with the company’s financial objectives.
Other crucial tasks for the day may include attending meetings with investors and other
stakeholders, and meeting with external advisors to discuss potential investments or strategies, and this can vary depending on the needs of the business.
- End Of The Day
At the end of the day, Sarah usually takes a few minutes to review her tasks for the following day and make sure she is prepared for any upcoming meetings or deadlines.
She also makes sure to check in with her team to ensure everyone is on track and has all the resources they need to succeed. She also takes a few moments to review any new developments in the financial markets, and to prepare for the next day’s activities.
As you can see, a CFO’s day is never dull – there are always new challenges to tackle and opportunities to explore. It is a role that requires a great deal of skill, knowledge, and dedication, but the rewards can be immense.