Chief Financial Officer (CFO): Recruitment guide

Find out what skills and capabilities you should be looking for when hiring a CFO that’ll make a difference to your business.

According to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand's CA Capability model, a CFO candidate should possess the skills and capabilities listed in the checklist below. The CA Capability was developed to inform and guide the accounting profession after extensive academic research and consultation with the profession in Australia and New Zealand.

Leadership

The candidate should have the combined wisdom and experience to:

  • Execute a major organisational change project or lead a merger, acquisition or significant financial integration project
  • Research and assess strategic changes needed to adapt to regulatory changes or market opportunities
  • Use high-level insights to lead and influence financial or strategic transformation projects
  • Provide insightful analysis of the long-term risks and opportunities that impact strategy formation
  • Establish or evaluate existing annual reporting processes to confirm performance and results for internal and external stakeholders
  • Establish or evaluate existing governance policy and structures affecting the organisation
  • Determine compliance requirements and ensure minimum standards are maintained
  • Contribute to the development of effective governance structures and policies

Business

The candidate should have the skills to:

  • Negotiate effectively at senior levels, guiding the business, anticipating and managing objections and challenges
  • Communicate effectively and assertively in high-risk situations to resolve complex or sensitive issues
  • Evaluate all available financial information and data to inform high-level decision making

Technical expertise

The candidate should have the skills to:

  • Advise on tax planning opportunities, appropriate tax structures, identify risks and how to manage them
  • Review/sign off on all tax related matters
  • Evaluate audit and assurance engagements and apply an overall risk-based approach
  • Advise on appropriate auditor's report to be issued in accordance with auditing standards
  • Conduct quality review engagements for quality assurance purposes
  • Advise on appropriate financing strategy, including corporate social responsibility and sustainability
  • Recommend appropriate finance governance framework
  • Advise on merger and acquisitions

Personal Attributes

The candidate should have the ability to:

  • Champion effort to ensure the organisational values and behaviours, promote what is right and meet moral, ethical and legal obligations
  • Assure a consistent and compliant approach to ethical decision-making in the organisation
  • Take a global view and make appropriate evaluative judgments regarding change processes and technological disruption
  • Possess sophisticated self-awareness experience and expertise necessary to make appropriate evaluative judgements about people, events, organisations and processes

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