What Do You Need to Learn to Become A CFO?

Introduction on what do you need to learn to become a CFO on a blue background with an illustration.

The route to becoming a CFO is only for those with genuine ambition. If that describes you, you probably already place a high priority on your educational and professional ambitions. You probably have a head start on learning how to become a CFO.

However, getting experience is a key factor in succeeding in being a CFO.

1. Proven track record

You need a proven track record where you have demonstrated the following skills:

  • Leadership: You will be a leader in the company, and you need to drive the people.
  • Business partnering: You need to work hand in hand with the other departments to bring value to the company.
  • Technical skills: Depending on the role, you need more or less deep knowledge in accounting, corporate finance, FP&A, tax, treasury, and systems. However, you always need to demonstrate that your understanding covers all the topics, and when you don’t have deep knowledge, you are able to bring internal or external resources to help you make a decision on these topics

2. How to Acquire Experience to Become A CFO

You can acquire more professional experience by navigating between technical and analytical jobs, which gives you a broader profile.

Getting also experience in one industry is the main differentiator factor, especially in high-growth industries.

3. Have The Operational experience to Become A CFO

To help boost your career, make sure you always have one job which was really close to operations.

For example, if you are currently mainly in group or headquarters functions, ask for a 2-year experience in a production site or in an operational business unit.

4. Get responsibilities

First, start with a smaller team and get more and more responsibilities along your career or get diversity in the role you get.

Also, be a driver and then a sponsor of the cross-functional projects to expand your level of responsibility to other functions.


To get the skills to be a great CFO, you need first to be a high-performing finance professional. I already help more than 100 finance professionals accelerate their careers by getting skills in analysis, budgeting, and business partnering.

Get instant access to my course to join the community of high-performing finance professionals!

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