Are you a finance student who is aiming for big things in life, and wants rise to the level of a Chief Financial Officer (CFO)? If yes, then this post is for you. We will discuss about the CMA career path which can help you to become a CFO in the future.A CFO is one of the most important officers in a company and is part of the Senior Management level. He is entrusted with the responsibility of heading the finance and accounts functions. Needless to say, the position is of immense importance because it involves taking many major financial decisions which can easily make or break the company. So the CFO for needs to be extremely good at his job and have the nitty gritty of finance at his fingertips.The following are some of the responsibilities that the CFO of a company has to undertake:

  • Preparing the annual reports of a company
  • Making capital expenditure decisions
  • Evaluating the various proposals  involving expenditure
  • Reporting financial performance
  • Preparation of budgets
  • Keep a track of the various expenses and incomes to ensure that they  are in sync with the budgets that have been prepared
  • Evaluating and managing financial risks of the company
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Needless to say, the position of a CFO is one of immense importance in any company and in most cases he/she reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company.  Anyone who wants to work as a CFO has to choose the accounting career path and gain the educational and professional background required for handling such vast responsibilities.

How To Become A CFO

Becoming a CFO is one of the dreams that many students and finance professionals harbor.  However, more often than not they do not have any idea regarding how to go about it. It takes a lot of meticulous planning, preparation, and hard work to reach to the CFO position which is indeed scarce because most companies have only one CFO.
So, not only will you need to be among the best of the best if you aspire to become a CFO, but you will have to carefully work towards it for several years.
Broadly there are two things that you will require to become a CFO:

  • A well recognized degree or certification in finance
  • Adequate professional experience in roles related to various aspects of finance.

The CMA career path can get you there

One of the pertinent questions that many students ask is which finance certification will help them to become a CFO. With a wide range of finance certifications available today, this can indeed be a very puzzling choice and most of the students have no idea about how to even decide which course is right for them.
The answer for them is the CMA career path which you can get by becoming a CMA. It will give you access to a wide range of CMA career opportunities, ultimately leading to the coveted position of a CFO.
The CMA certification has a very comprehensive coverage of various aspects of finance. It has a wider coverage than most of the other finance certifications. So while you can seriously consider doing another certification to get a foothold into the world of finance, CMA is the certification to go for in case you are planning to become a CFO in the future.
Any other certification like CPA, CFA or Chartered Accountancy can give you the necessary basic knowledge in accounting, taxation, economic and business laws,  and even the basics of corporate finance and investment banking. However,  this is not enough. You will have to get a solid grounding and in-depth knowledge about the work that you will eventually do as a CFO.
To become a CMA certificate holder you will have to acquire 2 years of experience in working in a role related to finance and accounting. Apart from the in-depth theoretical coverage that the CMA course will give, this practical experience will provide additional grounding to students who aspire to become a CFO  someday. It will give you a  clear idea about how the finance and accounts departments work in a company.

Is the MBA degree right for you?

Some students also mistakenly believe that getting an MBA degree can help them to become a CFO someday. This is not even half true.
While an MBA degree is a very popular one, it is too generic in nature. It will give you a general idea about how business is to be done and also about the basic concepts of finance.   However, it is too broad based and the syllabus of most MBA programs across the world do not contain many financial concepts which are critical to performing the role as a CFO.
While you can take the MBA degree as a stepping stone towards getting a grounding in our business and finance work, it is going to be highly inadequate as the only degree that can help you to reach your goals. You will anyway have to go for a higher degree like the CMA, which will enable you to specialize in finance. The CMA career path can fulfill your dream of becoming a CFO someday.

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