Are you qualified for the top job in finance?


Aspire to devise your career plans and want to be a CFO? The findings of the Hays DNA of a CFO report will give you an insight into the key to success. Or if you are already a CFO, or well on your way to becoming one, you may want to know what your counterparts have to say about success to be interesting.

Hays spoke to 145 CFOs across Asia about their background, experience, business, career and interests to unearth the DNA of a CFO. From qualifications and experience to personal development and work-life balance, the report gives you an insight into the success factors to reach the top finance job.

According to the survey:

  • CFOs are typically men in their 40s – 57% of respondents were aged between 41 and 50 and 71% were male
  • 46 to 55 hour working weeks are the norm – 45% work 46 to 55 hours and a further 40% work more than 56 hours each week
  • 48% of CFOs have worked outside Asia during their career
  • 99% of CFOs who have worked overseas say that the experience brings benefits to their career
  • 49% of CFOs join networking events for career development
  • 43% would like to engage in a higher finance leadership role
  • 83% have more than 10 years’ post-qualification experience
  • 73% have constantly worked in finance
  • 61% think that being proactive has boosted their career success
  • 20% believe that the sales function is the most significant discipline to collaborate with
  • 58% say strategic planning skills is the most essential quality for a CFO to have
  • 55% think the emerging generation have to be commercially conscious
  • 70% play sport or exercise to relieve their stress after work

The results of the survey give a full account of the typical CFO. On the whole, finance leaders have attained many years of post-qualification experience (PQE). So it seems that in order to succeed at the top you need to build up your experience, and to have had the time to sharpen your skill set and commercial acumen.

Interestingly, CFOs are also increasingly business partners who collaborate well with the sales function. They agree that strategic planning skill is the most essential asset for a CFO, followed by people management, reflecting the CFO’s role as a leader, influencer and negotiator.

This article was originally published on Hays. View the full report here.