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Every family has someone who’s in charge of the finances. Whether it’s Mom, Dad, or Uncle Ned, it’s the person who pays all the bills, monitors the family budget, and doles out the kids’ allowances. A Vice President of Finance is that person for a corporate family.
Indeed, if you’re a Vice President of Finance, it’s your job to manage a corporation’s coffers. A senior member of the executive management team, you’re basically a CFO — just a rung lower on the corporate ladder. Really, though, the only difference is in title, as you have all the responsibilities of a Chief Financial Officer.
That includes, for instance, preparing financial reports and forecasts, managing your company’s debt, overseeing its accounting and bookkeeping procedures, and serving as a financial liaison to the board of Directors. In addition, it includes planning and coordinating the company’s annual budgeting process, and managing from the 1,000-foot level everything from cash flow to payroll to investments.
A big part of your job as a Vice President of Finance is also compliance: State and federal governments have many laws and regulations governing corporate finance, and it’s your job to make sure your company complies with all of them by maintaining the proper financial records and reports.
Ultimately, though, your role is more strategic than tactical. Generally, therefore, you leave the nitty-gritty numbers crunching and recordkeeping to the Accountants and Bookkeepers who work beneath you so that you can focus on the bigger picture: advising the President and CEO about the financial risks and rewards of various business decisions. Whether it’s launching a new product, opening a new office, or hiring a new employee, you’re the person who looks at the company’s checkbook and says, “Yea” or “Nay”!