The Route to CFO: Career Advice from Chief Financial Officers

The Route to CFO: Career Advice from Chief Financial Officers Author: Amy Parkinson Published: 13 June 2019

The evolving role of CFO's 

The Chief Financial Officer’s role is constantly evolving. Once seen as a financial record keeper, the CFO today is a financially literate CEO.  Aspiring CFOs need to build a broad foundation of commercial, strategic, operational and leadership skills as well as developing their financial intelligence. Amy Parkinson, Principal Consultant and financial leadership specialist at Berwick Partners collaborated with Odgers Berndtson to support aspiring CFOs and finance leaders in navigating the next step in their career. Together, we sought the opinions of sixty established Chief Financial Officers, asking their advice for aspiring CFOs. 

The respondents came from a range of industries and backgrounds, yet their advice was consistent:

  • Build a broad base of experience
  • Seek international experience
  • Create opportunities
  • Learn to lead

CFO's of Today 

Today’s CFO needs to have more than just the skills to manage finances, they also need to be a true business leader. The CFOs we surveyed had built a broad base of skills, which gave them the knowledge to offer credible advice.  They challenged themselves with situations that gave them the opportunity to demonstrate their value. Many gained international experience, and they all built relationships with the business and their teams to gain respect as a real leader.

As an aspiring CFO it is worth taking the time to invest in your career. Seek advice and the perspectives of those you trust; perhaps someone in the role you want, a mentor, or a trusted advisor; and finally, reflect on the experience you have and where you have gaps.  Be bold, find a way to address the gaps and exploit your experience

Click here to download the full guidance on the route to CFO.

For further information on how Berwick Partners can support you in your journey to become a CFO, please contact Amy Parkinson, a Principal Consultant in our Financial Leadership Practice.

Categories: Finance Recruitment

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