Advancing in Accounting

All qualified accountants obviously know how to do accounting and so sometimes it may be difficult for an accountant to get promoted. An accountant can of course apply to a new employer who pays better but if they do, they may go once again to the bottom of the list for promotions whereas staying put they may gradually work their way up the accounting ladder. The top job for an accountant though is obviously to become the company’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and that ultimately must be every accountant in the office’s dream. Only a few of the accountants ever manage to successful see that dream come true though and in order for it to become true, the accountant must be aware of all that it takes to be a CFO. It isn’t for instance just the ability to be a good accountant; you also have to have abilities as a human resources manager as, as a CFO, it will be them that are responsible for the accounting staff in the company. They must also have presentation skills as, once again, as the CFO it is them that will be required to give presentations to the CEO, board members and even perhaps the shareholders at their meetings. Although any accountant should be able to keep financial records, not all accountants show the ability to fully understand all the implications of those records and a CFO must be able to fully understand them in order to explain them to others. Lastly the CFO must have a good knowledge of the business which their company is involved in. It is one thing to be able to understand when there are peaks and troughs in the financial records and another to understand why those peaks and troughs are there. A good CFO must have enough knowledge of their company’s business to understand what created the peaks and troughs and so can therefore advise the CEO of necessary action needed to either avoid the troughs or perhaps make the most of any peaks in finances. If an accountant has steadily risen to CFO in the same company, having worked for it for many years, they will of course be familiar with the company’s business but if they apply to become the CFO of a different company, that company will want to know of the experience you have. In the case of maureen o’connell scholastic Corporation’s CFO, the latter was the case as she moved to the post of CFO for Scholastic in 2007, from a different company. There was no worries about her accounting experience as she was well qualified and had previous experience as a CFO and so it was knowledge of the publishing business, which Scholastic is in, which was the question to be answered. As all of O’Connell’s experience in accounting since leaving university had been with publishing companies including the famous Barnes and Noble, she was deemed as being suitably qualified which seems to be correct as she has since been made the company’s Chief Administration Officer and an Executive Vice President.