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A Look Into The Top 4 Most Desired Positions at CFO Systems Search & Staffing

At CFO Systems Search & Staffing, we fill a variety of positions based on a candidate’s experience, skills and personality and an organization’s requirements and work environment. These positions currently include operational accountant, financial systems accountant, financial reporting management, plant manager and investment analyst. Based on our current job openings, there are four positions that have multiple openings and are extremely popular with potential candidates and businesses which are: Controllers, Staff Accountants, Chief Financial Officers and Directors of Finance.

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In-Depth Review At The Most In Demand Positions

Detailed below is a deep dive into these four sought-after positions. Included are job descriptions, responsibilities, education requirements, recommended skills, and the average salary of each.

1. Controller

Controllers oversee an organization’s daily accounting operations. These operations include accounting, payroll, the accounts payable department and the accounts receivable department. Controllers are important because they are the backbone for financial health. This is because of the responsibilities of a controller which include but are not limited to:

  • Preparing financial forecasting reports
  • Preparing both internal and external financial statements
  • Maintaining accounting records
  • General ledger, payroll, and taxes
  • Coordinating audits
  • Managing budgets
  • Communicating and coordinating regularly with the organization’s CFO
  • Ensuring income tax compliance
  • Understanding of organization’s job functions
  • Understanding of organization’s accounting operations

To help aid in these responsibilities, there are certain qualifications that controllers need to have. Controllers typically should have a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business but preferably an MBA with at least seven years of experience in the accounting field. Along with their bachelor’s degrees there are various professional certifications that controllers should have. These include Certified Public Accountant (CPA),Global Management Accountant (CGMA), Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) or Certified Management Accountant (CMA).

Beyond education, there are personal skills candidates for controllers should possess. These include a strong work ethic, in depth knowledge of account software, knowledge of financial analysis, attention to detail, accuracy, timely delivery, the ability to properly multi-task, have problem solving abilities, managerial experience, interpersonal skills and high integrity.

The typical salary of a controller can fall anywhere between $132K (median national salary) and $177K (corporate controller) and includes various bonuses and incentives that differ based on your location and employer.

2. Staff Accountant

Working under supervisors, staff accountants maintain budgets, ledgers and serve as bookkeepers in a corporate setting. Some staff accountants specialize in either taxation or auditing while others typically do general accounting work. Though an individual’s job duties dependent on their organization, staff accountants are usually responsible for:

  • Analyzing financial data
  • Researching and presenting industry trends
  • Manage billing
  • Manage budgeting
  • Maintain bookkeeping
  • Keeping organized and detailed ledgers
  • Filing taxes for employees or businesses
  • Managing invoicing

Staff Accountants also have alternate job titles such as financial analyst, investment analyst, planning analyst, portfolio manager, real estate analyst, or trust officer. They are also typically hired at accounting firms, banks, law firms, non-profits, and big corporations. Though many staff accountants can work entry-level positions with a bachelor’s degree to stay competitive other candidates will pursue a master’s degree in accounting.

Along with their education, staff accountants must demonstrate a wide variety of skills for career success. These skills include finance skills, data analysis, tech skills, in-depth tax knowledge, budgeting, critical thinking, written communication, oral communication, and deductive reasoning.

Though potential earnings depend on industry, location and experience the annual salary of a staff accounting is roughly $50K. Benefits and other incentives also vary based on organization and location.

3. CFO

Chief Financial Officers are responsible for overseeing all financial operations. This requires them to have an in-depth knowledge of an organization’s past and current financial data to help make decisions based on the company’s financial stability. CFOs are typically top level financial controllers and have a variety of duties that include:

  • Financial planning/reporting
  • Deep dives into all financial details
  • Budgeting
  • Expense control
  • Risk management
  • Record keeping
  • Decisions on future investments
  • Controlling cash flow
  • Negotiations
  • Creating and implementing strategic financial plans
  • Creating and implementing best business practices

Since CFOs are top level controllers, employers expect candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, or any other similar field. MBAs though are preferred. Though certifications are a requirement some beneficial credentials include Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Public Accountant (CPA). The preferred training requirements most employers are looking for include a combination of education, work experience and candidates should hold at least Senior Financial Manager position (after working up from entry-level or associate positions) before applying for the CFO position.

There are several notable skills that a potential Chief Financial Officer should have to bring strategies and best business practices into fruition. These qualities include strong leadership skills, high ethical standards, deep understanding of business, accounting competence, financial competence, communications skills, financial foresight, problem-solving skills, decision-making, honesty, strong written communication skills, strong oral communication skills and time management.

The yearly salary for a Chief Financial Officer can lay anywhere between $76K to $266K, with the average being $137K. This salary includes bonus, profit sharing and commission but location, employer and experience will also play a role in determining.

4. Director of Finance

This position is also referred to as finance directors or directors of financial planning. Directors of Finance are responsible for overseeing all financial activities ensuring a smooth running of an organization’s finances. Directors of Finance have a few responsibilities which include:

  • Assessing financial markets
  • Identifying solutions to financial issues
  • Revenue report prep and delivery
  • Financial planning
  • Financial strategy
  • Overseeing audits
  • Performing tax functions
  • Developing and implementing accounting practices
  • Preparing comprehensive budgets
  • Training accounting staff
  • Reviewing/disbursing department budgets
  • Evaluating, management and minimizing risk
  • Analyzing extensive financial data
  • Management internal control

Directors of Finance must have at least a bachelor’s degree in either accounting, finance, or business administration. For senior positions though, employers may require a master’s degree in finance, economics, accounting, or business administration. Though certifications are not typically required, receiving one from an accreditation organization such as the Association for Financial Professionals can help advance careers.

Working with these education requirements there are also notable skills that are required for Directors of Finance to comprehensively do their job. These skills include but are not limited to exceptional people skills, strong math skills, thorough IT skills, communication complex financial information, strong commercial experience, the ability to work as a team, analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, management skills and strong decision making skills.

The average salary of a Finance Director is between $95K and $266K with the average being $147K. These salaries will vary based on experience, location, employer, bonuses, and any other incentives.

If any of these jobs listed interest you, please feel free contact us to learn more about current job openings and to send us your resume.