Chief Financial Officer/CFO Sample Job Description

The chief financial officer position is accountable for the administrative, financial, and risk management operations of the company, to include the development of a financial and operational strategy, metrics tied to that strategy, and the ongoing development and monitoring of control systems designed to preserve company assets and report accurate financial results.

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The CFO has overall responsibility for all aspects of the financial function and resources for the corporation, including accounting, cash management, tax and legal affairs, business planning and reporting.  As a member of the company’s management team, the CFO acts as a demanding business partner, with a deep understanding of business issues, providing analysis and enlightening the financial impacts of projects and decisions.

Job Results, Essential Functions & Measures of Success

Improved Organizational Capabilties

Essential Functions
  1. Participates in developing and implementing a strategic plan that supports the organization’s vision and goals; translates the strategic plan to staff to ensure support; and modifies the plan in response to changing internal and external factors.
  2. Investment Across the Business is appropriate for Corporate Goals: Effectively balances the competing priorities of different constituencies by continually choosing among competing initiatives, selecting those that best support and enable business goals.
  3. Risks Identified & Managed: Ensures an effective process for evaluating risk to the business that takes all important issues into account, and links problems and symptoms to identify underlying strategic issues.
  4. Pipeline of Leadership Talent that can Effectively Impact Current & Future Business Needs: Ensures processes are in place for unleashing the full potential of others by providing needed resources, coaching, experiences and other support to place the right people in key roles and continuously upgrade their skills and knowledge.
  5. Innovation: Ensures an environment that encourages fresh perspectives, innovative, breakthrough ideas and new paradigms that create value in the marketplace.  Pursues new business opportunities and makes them a reality.  Initiates, sponsors, and implements organizational change
Measures of Success
Strategic Planning:
  • 90% annual achievement of business plans
CEO’s observation that CFO:
  • Demonstrates broad understanding of principles of financial management
  • Is seen by the workforce as effective in communicating a mission, vision, and goals
  • Obtains input from relevant players for all strategic decisions
  • Prepares all relevant economics are prepared and reviewed for business planning; and all associated risks have been identified and reviewed
  • All finance positions have qualified replacements
  • 85% retention of key people & high potentials
  • Manager/supervisor direct reports demonstrate the ability to effectively manage and develop their assigned staff
  • Depth of workforce understanding of linkage of performance objectives to business results

Clean Audit Opinions

Essential Functions
  1. Ensures development, implementation and monitoring of policies and procedures for the general ledger, budget development, cash management, debt management, accounts receivable/payable, payroll and business office management, emphasizing solid internal controls and operational efficiencies.
  2. Directs the documentation of internal controls, consistent with the spirit of Sarbanes-Oxley and similar best practice standards.
  3. Directs the general ledger closing, consolidation and financial statement preparation, presentation, and dissemination of information and follow-up interrogation by internal and external sources.
  4. Defines and ensures on a regular basis a review of month-end and year-end closing activities (general ledger, balance sheet, cost allocation, etc.)
  5. Oversees the preparation and communication of month-end and year-end financial statements.
  6. Serves as a key point of contact for financial auditors; management preparation and support of audits.
Measures of Success
  • No significant findings are received from external auditors or tax accountants
  • No material adjustments to records as the result of audits

Recommendations that Enable Achievement of Goals

Essential Functions
  1. Contributes to the strategic and business planning process, including providing recommendations to senior management on short-term and long-term financing and operating strategy for the organization.
  2. Analyzes company operations, identifying areas that can be reorganized, down-sized or made more cost-effective.
  3. Directs the budget variance analysis process, including: collection of variants and remediation activities, monitoring of expectations; and reporting progress to senior management and governance.
  4. Develops innovative and effective financing strategies to support expansions and other capital requirements.
  5. Prepares and presents forecasts for future business growth, general economic, industry and financial conditions and reports on their impact on company policies and operations. Initiates other activities, whether financial or not, which contribute to the financial health, growth, regulatory compliance and overall fulfillment of the corporate mandate. As a member of the senior leadership team, provides relevant information and guidance to the General Manager to assess and improve the organization's operating and financial performance.
  6. Analyzes cash flow, cost controls and expenses to guide business leaders. Analyzes financial statements to pinpoint potential weak areas.
  7. Manages the business planning process (budget, forecasts, 3-year plan).
  8. Assesses organizational performance against budget and makes actionable recommendations together with heads of operational departments.
Measures of Success Delivery of financial objectives:
  • Cash flow
General Manager’s observation:
  • Recommendations presented are robust, complete and add measurable value to the business

Funds Available to Meet the Operating Needs of the Business

Essential Functions
  1. Monitors cash management and ensure availability of funds in connection with group/global finance.
  2. Handles banking relationship on a daily basis.
  3. Provides reliable 2-month cash forecasts.
  4. Oversees and optimizes working capital.
  5. Provides information on stock coverage and proposes action plans to optimize stock levels in coordination with Supply Chain management.
  6. Oversees accounts receivable management in tight connection with sales.
  7. Oversees accounts payable management.
  8. Identifies and proposes to global finance new funding opportunities.
Measures of Success
  • Cash needs of business are met with no interruption to normal business activities
  • Cash flow forecast achieved

Critical Success Factors

Strategic Agility

Sees ahead clearly; can anticipate future consequences and trends accurately; has broad knowledge and perspective; is future oriented; can articulately paint credible pictures and visions of possibilities and likelihoods; can create competitive and breakthrough strategies and plans.

Driving Execution

Sets and maintains high performance standards for self and others that support the organization’s strategic plan and holds self and other team members accountable for achieving results; ensures organizational systems, processes and people are aligned to support strategic objectives; regularly evaluates self and team on goal attainment, processes used to achieve goals, and competitive benchmarks.

Position Qualifications

Minimum 15 years’ experience in finance, 2 years’ experience as CFO. Hands-on experience in monthly closing, variance analysis, and industrial (plant) accounting. Prior controlling experience required, plant controlling strongly desired. Prior international and inter-company experience preferred. Prior pharmaceutical or regulated-industry experience helpful.  Previous supervisory experience required.

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