What it takes to be a successful CFO

Tips for young professionals to make it big in the sector

What is it that big companies out there are looking for in fresh recruits? If a career path to the post of a CFO is what you are planning, read on to know what exactly it takes to succeed.

In the recent years, we have seen the emergence of a creed of young and talented professionals who are not afraid to leave the security of tried-and-tested ways to success, in order to adopt the riskier route. As a result, we today see so many more business execs in their late twenties or early thirties handling the reigns of pivotal departments like strategy, capital raising, business mergers & acquisitions and many more in some of the biggest corporate houses not just in Australia, but all across the world. They are enthusiastic, passionate and brave—with the right amount of managerial sense—ready to rule the world. They have all that is required to propel them through the highly saturated market of MBAs and CAs; the only trick is to figure out what ‘that’ is.

If the top masters are to be believed, they opine in unison that what they look for in their successors to the power-positions in today’s corporate scene is way more than just technical know-how. In an interview with the Forbes magazine, Ben Mulling, CMA, CPA, CITP, CFO at TENTE Casters Inc. & member of the IMA Global Board of Directors said, “There are actually two main issues I’ve experienced with today’s young professionals. One is soft skills—communication and leadership skills… It’s not something not a lot people are coming out of college with and it’s noticeable when you interview students.” As he goes on to describe the second issue, he explains how it is so difficult to find young employees who just do not know how to adopt alternative approach to solve a practical problem, different from the singular way that particular problem has been solved in times gone.

Some of the most competitive and demanding businesses today, like corporate governance, accounting outsourcing, managing funds and grants in Australia present a constant demand for talented, new professionals who can take the experience from the seniors and infuse it with their risk-taking attitude to create some exemplar events on the market front. With a little practice, the right kind of guidance and enough determination, you can be just that—the rising star on the horizon of Australia’s corporate world.

Feb 14 2014