Thesis: What is a CFO

Sample Thesis Paper

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) role is a senior management role and the officer is responsible for overseeing and managing the financial activities and risks of the entire organization.  The officer is accountable for financial planning and record-keeping, as well reporting to the higher management. (Chief financial officer, n.d.).
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) may be responsible for carrying out strategic plans and policies if he/she reports to the board of directors, otherwise, he/she maybe responsible for setting the direction and overseeing the operations of the organization (McNamara, n.d.). A successful CEO is a visionary, a goal oriented responsive leader, a decision maker, a risk taker, a motivator, a good communicator and an interface between the organization and the community (Picker, 1989), (McNamara, n.d.).
Over the years the CFO’s role has widened and they are now required to communicate financial performance and forecasts to the analyst community. Rather than simply reporting to the CEO, CFOs are now also required to interact with the management board and contribute to strategic planning. The enhanced roles of the CFOs, their involvement in strategic planning, interaction with higher management and CEO, helps them gain a better understanding of the business and also helps them develop their skills. The CFOs thus have the opportunity to groom themselves, gain experience and be eligible to be promoted to the CEO position (Brewis, 1999), (Chief financial officer, n.d.). Picker quotes that in 1989, 25% of the top corporate leaders were former CFOs which was twice more compared to the 1960s. In 2005, CFO magazine review found that compared to 12% a decade ago, 20% of the Fortune 100 CEOs were former CFOs (Durfee, 2005).

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