what is a chief financial officer?

As a chief financial officer (CFO), you are a senior leader in the finance department. You are responsible for overseeing the financial operations of a company. You also manage the company’s finance and accounting departments. CFOs make strategic decisions that influence a company's overall direction. You ensure financial reports meet the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and that the company files the necessary taxes with the Independent Authority for Public Revenue (IAPR).

You also conduct a financial analysis to determine the company's financial performance. From the data analysis, you identify risks and come up with ways to mitigate them. Other duties include financial planning in an organisation to ensure the departments stick to the budgets. You also oversee all the cash flow and identify ways to boost the company’s revenue.

Your role as the chief financial officer requires good strategic thinking skills. You should be proactive in supporting sustainable growth in the company. Your analytical skills help you evaluate data and identify risks associated with the role.

Would working as a chief financial officer suit your financial acumen and analytical skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a chief financial officer role.

chief financial officer jobs

average chief financial officer salary

According to the Economic Research Institute, you earn a median salary of €150,000 per year as a chief financial officer in Greece. Most companies also offer incentives to CFOs, and you can earn an average bonus of €33,000 annually. The earnings fluctuate based on experience and educational qualifications. When you are new to the role, you can start with a salary of €92,000 per year. When you have additional experience and qualifications, you can take home over €236,000 annually.

what factors affect the salary of a chief financial officer?

Your salary as a CFO depends on a variety of factors, such as industry, educational level and company size. The company size plays a significant role due to the complexity of financial operations. Chief financial officers in large companies are in charge of large finance departments and are likely to earn more than CFOs in smaller companies. The CFO of a big company requires a higher level of expertise and experience to handle complex operations effectively.

The industry you work in also influences your earnings. Industries like finance and technology offer higher salaries to chief financial officers compared to other industries. Companies with a higher revenue pay higher salaries.

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types of chief financial officers

The types of chief financial officers depend on the size of the company and their primary function. Some of the different CFO types include:

woman executive with briefcase going down stairs
woman executive with briefcase going down stairs

working as a chief financial officer

Working as a Chief Financial Officer is an interesting career, given that you lead the finance team. Let’s explore the duties, responsibilities and work environments associated with the role.


chief financial officer skills and education

To become a chief financial officer, you require the following educational qualifications:

  • Education: to become a chief financial officer in Greece, you need a university degree. A bachelor's degree in accounting, finance, economics or business will set you up for the role. If you have a bachelor's degree unrelated to finance, you can supplement it with a master of business administration or relevant certifications to improve your job prospects.
  • Work experience: many CFOs begin their careers in accounting or finance roles, which require certifications and professional qualifications. Get a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation from the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Greece (SOEL). Some companies also expect you to have a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification and become a member of the CFA Society in Greece.

competencies and characteristics of chief financial officers

Chief financial officers require various qualities and personality traits, including:

  • Communication skills: as a chief financial officer, communicating well helps you relay instructions effectively to your team and explain strategic decisions to company leaders. Since you are the face of the company in financial matters, your role involves public speaking engagements, meeting with investors, and being the company's finance ambassador. Communication skills help you build strategic relationships and collaborate well with others.
  • Analytical thinking: as a chief financial officer, you are a big-picture or strategic thinker. You analyse the company's position and make strategic decisions that drive growth. Your analytical thinking helps you make forecasts and evaluate risks.
  • Leadership skills: as a CFO, you rely on leadership skills to inspire and motivate employees to excel in their duties. You rely on your leadership skills to set goals and lead the team towards achieving other goals. You build a solid finance team and identify the gaps and blind spots.
  • Flexibility: as a CFO, you should adapt to the changes in the financial industry or market quickly. Being flexible helps you cushion your company from unforeseen issues and build resilience for tough times.
  • Tech-savvy: as a chief financial officer, you rely on technological skills to analyse data and review financial reports. Your knowledge and proficiency in using financial systems, accounting software and Microsoft Office applications is crucial.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a chief financial officer.

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