What abilities do you need to go from finance director to CFO?

November 21st 2018 | Posted by phil scott

What abilities do you need to go from finance director to CFO?

What abilities do you need to go from finance director to CFO?

Although for many companies the difference between a financial director (FD) and chief financial officer (CFO) can be a bit vague, the latter usually comes has more say in the direction of a business.

It also generally comes with more responsibilities and better pay, which can make the jump between the two roles seem huge.

If you are a finance director looking to take this crucial next step in your career, here are some of the keys skills to develop in order to make the transition a success.

Develop your diplomatic skills

CFOs must constantly interact with CEOs, MDs and even owners. They need to take part in discussions about the future of your company’s success. In these meetings, all the stakeholders will have different priorities.

Everyone believes their area is the most crucial to making a business successful so it’s important you can both communicate yours well and understand and respect theirs.

While you are an FD, you can display you have these skills by showing that you can listen to multiple people but still make the overall task successful.

Think creatively and innovate

Thinking creativity isn’t generally recognised as a crucial requirement in the finance sector but, in fact, innovating is vital to creating a successful business, and a CFO will be expected to understand this.

As a CFO, you’ll need to spot opportunities to help drive business growth – and thinking creatively and innovating is a key part of this.

While showing this in an FD role might seem like a challenge because you may be able to drive new ideas from this position, don’t underestimate the power of enthusiasm.

Bringing new ideas to the table during meetings and in brainstorming sessions, while showing you are up-to-date on the industry will show you have the necessary skills.

Take your understanding of data analytics to the next level

With Big Data taking a centre stage in modern businesses, CFOs must be able to understand analytics and draw conclusions from them.

Although number crunching is something you’ll be used to as a finance director, you’ll need to take it up a notch.

You’ll need to recognise patterns and use the statistics to drive more growth.

You can show this at any time as a finance director by showing you understand analytics and reading up on Big Data.

If you are a finance director looking for your next big career move, don’t forget to register with us.