CFO stands for Chief Financial Officer and is someone that plays a major role in any company. Although many people think that the CFO is only responsible for ensuring that records of the company’s accounts are accurate and up to date, according to maureen o’connell, herself an experienced CFO, and many others, there is a lot more to the position than just ensuring the accounts are kept correctly. O’Connell is perhaps one of the most experienced CFO as she has held the position in several companies including the prestigious publishing company Barnes and Noble. She is currently and has been since 2007, the CFO for the Scholastic Corporation. O’Connell has her own website where she gives advice to budding CFOs, informing them of all the responsibilities that they will have to take on if they intend to be successful. She has also given lectures and spoken on many occasions on the subject of CFOs responsibilities. She once said that CFO could as easily stand for Chief Futures Officer as they are very important as far as the future of a company is concerned. The CFO must be aware of current trends and be able to foresee future trends in order to advise the CEO of the company of strategies they should take to ensure the financial viability of the company. Obviously as the CFO is aware of any monies which is available for future projects, they can advise the CEO on that but they must also know how the financial status of any of their rivals may be, as that too can affect a CEOs decision on what the company should do to successfully move forward. It is this knowledge of the financial situation of a company and their ability to evaluate future trends that make the CFOs invaluable to other department heads as they make their preparations for the future.
As far as the accounting side of the job is concerned, a CFO does not just have to ensure that all financial records are kept accurately and up to date but they are also responsible for ensuring that any and all a company’s required spending is made, such as any tax bills being paid or shareholders receiving their dividends correctly and on time. The CFO is obviously responsible for any accounting staff that the company may hire and that includes that they are capable and qualified to carry out their individual responsibilities. To this end, the CFO will use recognized accounting procedures as well as recognized books, ledgers and other accounting documents. One of the probably less envious task that any CFO has is to advise the CEO as to whether or not the staff can receive increases in their pay and if they can, what percentage increase the CEO can offer.
As well as being a CFO, some CFOs have other titles and responsibilities in a company, as for instance, as well as being CFO, O’Connell is also an executive vice president and Chief Administration Officer (CAO).