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What does a Chief Financial Officer do?

A chief financial officer (CFO) is a senior executive in a company who is responsible for the financial actions of the organization. They oversee lower-level financial managers, assess financial risks and take responsibility for the accuracy of all financial reporting. All kinds of companies have CFO positions and the work takes place in an office setting.


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Working as a Chief Financial Officer

A CFO often works long days and will perform a wide variety of tasks each day. These include:

  • Presenting and reporting past and present financial information to members of management, shareholders and employees
  • Overseeing the capital structure of the company and deciding how to invest the company's money
  • Providing direction and leadership to the finance team and managing the process for budgeting and financial forecasting
  • Overseeing the preparation of all the company's financial reporting
  • Creating and upholding all the finance and HR procedures
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How much does a Chief Financial Officer make in the United States?

Average base salary

Profit sharing
$22,500per year
Non-cash benefit
View more benefits

The average salary for a chief financial officer is $125,052 per year in the United States and $22,500 profit sharing per year.3.1k salaries reported, updated at September 13, 2022

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Where can a Chief Financial Officer earn more?

Compare salaries for Chief Financial Officers in different locations
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How much do similar professions get paid in United States?

Vice President of Finance

16,880 job openings

Average $142,512 per year

Interim Chief Financial Officer

209 job openings

Average $94.43 per hour

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Common questions about for a Chief Financial Officer

How long does it take to become a chief financial officer?

It often takes 10 to 15 years of working in the industry before you can work your way into a chief financial officer position. The chief financial officer of a mid-size company will have a minimum of 10 years' experience and in some cases it can take even longer. You might have to take a position outside of your current company in order to get this job.

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How can I know if I am being paid fairly as a chief financial officer?

If you’re unsure about what salary is appropriate for a chief financial officer, visit Indeed's Salary Calculator to get a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.

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What are the best lower-level roles to take in order to gain experience?

The path to a chief financial officer position can start in many ways. Working in corporate treasury will give you an advantage since you'll be responsible for cash management and financial investments. You can also work as a controller. A controller is a chief accounting officer and reports to the chief financial officer.

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Who does the chief financial officer report to?

What kind of advancement is available for a chief financial officer?

What are the characteristics of a chief financial officer?

How much do similar professions to a chief financial officer get paid?

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