Corporate Cfo 

(Female, Age 56) from Marion, NC

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 56 who works as a Corporate Cfo in Marion, NC. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Corporate Cfo
Salary $76,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 40
Company Size (not answered)
Location Marion, NC
Years Experience 16 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for a financial services firm ( corporation )of approximately 80 employees, mostly CPA’s and Pa’s, with a few financial advisors and economic specialists. We provide a broad range of services to the public, including tax preparation for both individuals and small to medium businesses, as well as financial advise for IRA’s, stock portfolios and all long and short term investments.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I am the Chief Financial Officer. I handle all financial dealings of the entire company, including Profit and Loss, financial directives, tax filings, as well as supervise a group who prepare our own tax forms, and supervise both payroll and HR.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
profit sharing, retirement, stock and savings match funding, medical and dental insurance, 2 weeks paid vacation, sick leave, personal leave

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
I am under compensated

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
My job requires me to supervise around 35 people and work extensively with many others on most days. I dislike this part of my job intensely as I have little patience with people. I dislike procrastination, chatting at work, and the general failure to pay attention to oral instructions or to read and understand written instructions. If given a choice I had rather do all the paper work myself then to suffer through the constant and repeated errors, and dealing with those who fail to do their job well or who put off work, spend too much time taking personal phone calls, or chatting at work about things of no import or of little consequence.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
Most of my work is done in my own private office at the corporate offices, although we have two or more conference meetings per week, which I am required to attend with other executives like myself. A small amount of my work is done at home, usually on my laptop, which I don’t mind at all as I can smoke at home and relax with no interruptions.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 3
Hours: 8
Co-Workers: 2
Supervisors: 5
Job Title: 6
Level of Responsibility: 7
The Actual Work: 4

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am N/A ( Getting ready for work and driving to work )
8am to 9am 8:30 am- Arrived at work and checked my appointment schedule. Checked my voice mail messages and returned 4 phone calls to different department heads. ( two from accounts payable, one from executive VP of Operations, and one from comptrollers office )none of which were of great import. Checked my email and answered 2, briefly.
9am to 10am Secretary brought in approximately 40 forms and documents that required my signature, which I glanced over, fully reading some in entirety, scanning those familiar with for errors, etc, and signed those that did not require a notary’s signature and stamp witnessing my own signature ( 7 did ). Secretary brought me coffee and picked up signed documents and said notary would be by at 2:30.
10am to 11am I saw my first appointment at 10 am which was with company long term investments advisor. Meeting was concerning recent fall in some stocks held by our company. Meeting was completed at around 10:45 and I returned two phone calls ( one to Payroll department, which concerned overtime holiday pay, and one to budget committee head, having to do with budgeting of a conference to be held in Texas )that were taken by secretary during my meeting.
11am to 12pm At 11 am I reviewed online stock market standings and made notes. I then checked several of our company bank accounts and made further notes and transferred funds necessary for payroll and other departments, such as AP and direct debit utility payments for all company facilities. At around 11:30 my secretary buzzed me that I had two visitors not scheduled who were from Acquisitions. I met with them, a male and a female, until approximately 12 noon. The discussion was pertaining to the purchase of new computer systems and upgrades needed for IT department to comply with standards.
12pm to 1pm I then asked secretary to screen calls and take messages and rang for an accounting II assistant to come into my office from downstairs. I then went over April’s executive expense reports and marked items for discussion or deletion and approved the ones marked, and directed my secretary to resubmit them to me with changes included in final draft. At 12:30 I walked down the hall to see the Comptroller and we discussed several outstanding company finance issues ( I am unable due to privacy concerns to give out any detailed information ) until around 10 of one. I left for lunch and left word with my secretary ( a substitute for regular secretary who was also still gone to lunch ) that I would be back around 2:15-2:30 pm.
1pm to 2pm Lunch ( with several board members )
2pm to 3pm Arrived back at office at around 2:20. Checked and reviewed ( random screening for error rate ) of forms prepared by tax department and originally approved by Tax Administrator. Signed the mornings documents ( those needing notary signature and seal to witness my own )when notary came in at 2:30. Worked on the above mentioned ( screening ) forms until around 3 pm.
3pm to 4pm Reviewed documents from our corporate Property Tax Department concerning new filing requirements and made notes about exactly how, where and when, new training for employees in Property Tax Department would be best handled. Spoke by phone at around 3:30 for around 10-15 minutes with Tax Dept. Administrator. I finished reviewing documents and took a 10-15 minute break in corporate lounge for coffee.
4pm to 5pm At around 4 pm I returned phone calls I had received during lunch break, checked my voicemail, and checked my corporate email, sending 5 emails in reply. Appointment at 4:30 was a few minutes late ( mutual funds advisor ) and we spoke for approximately 20 minutes.
5pm to 6pm At 5 pm I asked secretary to schedule appointments ( 4 ) with various staff members for me on Monday if they were available and after checking my own schedule for convenient and available times. I went in and spoke with Executive VP in his offices until around 5:30 concerning upcoming executive board meeting on Tuesday of next week. I gathered up paperwork to take home and left office and building at around 6:00 pm.
6pm to 7pm N/a-( Going home from work and doing errands until around 6:45 ). I checked work voice mail ( from work and home phones and cell phone ) at round 6:50. Returned one call to CPA on our board, and several personal calls.
7pm to 8pm N/A Home- other than I did this form ( career chart )from around 7 to 7:30 for this web site ( the Career Project) about my work day.
8pm to 9pm Worked on paperwork ( reserves, etc. ) and investment research reports and financial statements I had brought home with me until around 8:45 pm.
9pm to 10pm N/A Home
10pm to 11pm N/A Home related details, other than ( scheduled )checking ( both home and work ) voice mail.
11pm to 12am N/A Home

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
I was promoted from Comptroller from within the company. I had originally worked there in the accounting department, a position I garnered from a newspapaer ad.

What was the application process?

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
Yes, I did have to interview, although I was promoted from within to my current position. Two other candidates from within the company’s finance department were interested in the position, as well. I had an interview with the company’s board of directors, which included the President and Vice President, and several financial officers and HR directors.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
I don’t recall any specific questions other than clarifications of items on my resume and asking me why exactly I was interested in the position other than the higher salary offered.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. As I stated previously, I was given a basic list of duties, and since I had been assisting the CFO who’s job I would take over, I was warned ahead of time there was a great many things that would come up that I might have to research on my own or ask about of someone who had been in that department longer.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
No special training was given at my work place. I stepped into the job quickly, as I had assisted the previous CFO in the past, and already knew the job fairly well.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, I had some minor bookkeeping courses in high school, and then in college I received training in law accounting, cost accounting, general finance, business finance, world trade, and general economics.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Make sure to get a major four year degree in a strictly financial field, such as economics, with a minor in accounting, and if at all possible, from a large university of good reputation. Be willing to work some mediocre jobs for smaller income levels for some years before getting into the area of not just accounting or working as a “controller” or “comptroller” but as a Chief Financial Advisor like my job title. Be very honest and dependable in all positions and make sure to build up references from reputable companies over the years. Always be above reproach, with absolutely no criminal record or financial problems such as a bankruptcy of your own or any impropriety. This probably isn’t a position one could manage to acquire, or keep for any length of time, without having a real forte for math, a heavy background in finance and general accounting. Some work in law accounting and cost accounting provides a good background basis for added interest in your resume. Make sure your resume is a “power” one and as absolutely perfect and professional as possible.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
Heavy math skills, along with knowledge in the workings of the financial world as a whole and a genuine interest in finance are required. Strong organization skills are needed, as well, and the ability to quickly learn new computer programs used in accounting or database. Since there is a lot of “supervisory” work included in this position, as well as some “presentation” during conferences, a good clear speaking voice, a wide vocabulary, and an articulate manner of speech is necessary, along with a good memory for names and faces. Mostly the skills needed are a good head for figures and understanding calculations, good memory skills as to remembering tax laws, good skills at research of tax law and financial resources.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Yes, a minimum of a Bachelors degree in economics is needed, although a Masters in the field will get you into a top position much faster. An added MBA is also helpful, although not a requirement.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Be absolutely certain you can maintain an interest in the field and not be prone to burn out quickly as this is sometimes a very boring, yet high stress position and field. Best advice is to always stick to schedules and deadlines and start all projects as early as possible, when the needed data is first available. Dress well, project confidence, and don’t ever expect your job to be exciting, nor predictable.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, I guess that this is now my career “plan” as, at my age and in poor health, I am unlikely to change streams this late in the game. It just seems too late to start over in something new, since I will be sixty in just a few years.

What are your current career goals?
I have no specific career goals, other than to continue to do a really good job at my current position, remaining unscathed, respected and still sane, as well as financially stable, so as to make it to full retirement, and therefore retain full benefits in eight to ten years. When I retire from accounting I plan to write a novel, or perhaps an autobiography, and hope to paint.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I would only add a warning that this career is extremely boring at times, and very stressful at others. However if you have a talent or strength in math, excellent organizational skills, enjoy supervising others, and feel a very stable and unchanging career is what you are looking for, then economics, accounting, and finance is a field that is much respected and almost always in demand.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Controller/Comptroller 6 years 34000 General full charge double entry accounting with Accounts P&R, Payroll, Profit & Loss statements, company tax preparation, and all filing requirements, State Sales tax filing, etc.
Prior Job 2 Accountant 10 years 28000 Self employed business owner ( public accountant ) offering wide range of financial services, mainly tax preparation for individuals and small businesses, profit and loss, w-2’s and w-4 forms, and related work. Approximately 350 clients per year.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.97

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.99 NYU Economics-Bachelor of Science
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

Ask a Question of this Mentor

This mentor has opted to receive questions from people interested in this career or job position. Please be respectful of their time and willingness to help. Include some basic relevant background so they can intelligently answer your question.