5 signs that you are CFO material


There is only one CFO position in a company and as such, it is a coveted spot, with many financial executives vying to make the shortlist. How do you know if you are CFO material and if there is anything that will stand against you when it comes to the final reckoning? Here are five sure-fire signs that you can do the business.

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You go beyond the numbers

The modern CFO is more than a mere bean-counter. He or she is expected to serve as the CEO's trusted adviser and know the ins and outs of the sector in which they operate. Technical proficiency should be a prerequisite for positions well below the helm. Being able to make strategic decisions based on solid operational experience is key.

You pay attention to the CIO

With technology playing an increasing importance in the success of virtually every business, a top CFO needs to be comfortable with IT. This doesn't mean you need to be programming apps in your spare time, but having a certain tech-savviness will enable you to understand project requirements and compliance systems.

You are interested in operations

Successful CFOs don't view the finance function in a vacuum and are able to see the impact of their decisions when travelling to plants, facilities, factories and industry conferences. They are also able to deal with clients on subjects beyond the finance ambit and have an in-depth understanding of business models, capital markets and core competencies.

You are a confident communicator

Long gone are the days when a CFO could be hidden under a pile of ledgers. Today successful financial executives are expected to be the face of their companies, filling in for CEOs where necessary. Public speaking and negotiation skills and the ability to think on your feet, if not a magnetic personality, are crucial.

You are a leader

Modern CFOs are natural leaders who are able to inspire their teams and create synergies. They excel in constructive persuasion, talent assessment, leadership development, team building and organisational design know when to back off and when to strengthen. Crucially, they are able to admit and learn from their errors.

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