Steps to Guide Your CFO Career Path

The CFO career path requires gaining a set of skills that are varied yet complementary. These skills are developed over time, with careful planning and intentional, progressive action. Along the way, you will gain knowledge and experience that build your perseverance, adaptability, and foresight.  The overall key to success is: Embrace the CFO career journey!

Gain Business Experience

Prior to gaining entry to the C-Suite, you’ll need to gain broad business and operations experience. This prepares you for variations between companies, even those within the same sector. Insights about organizational structure and operations are acquired through active knowledge pursuit. Gain these experiences through participation on corporate and community committees in both the private and public sectors.

Customer Service

Regardless of the sector in which you wish to serve as a CFO, being customer service savvy is paramount. This includes knowing how data is collected from clients, as well as quality assurance mechanisms. Time on the front line, shadowing those who serve customers, is a fruitful exercise in observational and interactive learning.

Take Time out for Technology

IT software and systems vary across business sectors and departments. Financial managers need to keep abreast of programs that best match their business’s processes, data needs, and bottom line. Gaining firsthand experience with data analysis and its assets for organizations prepares you to make well-informed upper-level decisions.

Get an Advanced Degree

The fact of the matter is that C-Suite candidates often have both. Your finance/accounting education and background serves you well. Adding a CPA expands your horizons along with skills. Pursuing specific graduate studies, such as an MBA, offers the breadth of knowledge a CFO requires.

The certificate and degree each have specific requirements, time frames, and costs, so best to be informed. Acquiring a CPA can be more involved and take longer than MBA studies.

Climb the Ladder to Your CFO Career One Step at a Time

Pursue positions that prepare you to become a CFO with its expanding responsibilities. Finance manager and controller are two such jobs to pursue as you climb the corporate ladder.


Are you  a CFO looking for a new position?  You’re in the right place!  Click here to view Beacon Resources’ list of open accounting and finance positions.