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The chief financial officer (CFO) or chief financial and operating officer (CFOO) is a corporate officer primarily responsible for managing the financial risks of the corporation. This officer is also responsible for financial planning and record-keeping, as well as financial reporting to higher management. In some sectors the CFO is also responsible for analysis of data. The title is equivalent to finance director (FD), a common title in the United Kingdom. The CFO typically reports to the chief executive officer and to the board of directors, and may additionally sit on the board. The CFO supervises the finance unit and is the chief financial spokesperson for the organization. The CFO reports directly to the president/chief executive officer (CEO) and directly assists the chief operating officer (COO) on all strategic and tactical matters as they relate to budget management, cost–benefit analysis, forecasting needs and the securing of new funding.
Most CFOs of large companies have finance qualifications such as a Master of Business Administration, Master of Science, or come from an accounting background such as a Certified Public Accountant. A finance department would usually contain some accountants with Certified Public Accountant, Chartered Accountant, Certified Management Accountant, Chartered Certified Accountant, or equivalent status such as master of finance.
The federal government of the United States has incorporated more elements of business-sector practices in its management approaches, including the use of the CFO position (alongside, for example, an increased use of the chief information officer post, within public agencies).
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