Accounting Employment and Salary Insights – CFO Medium business

Hunter Campbell’s Accounting Employment Insights Series offers a comprehensive look into roles within the accounting sector. Leveraging our specialised Accounting recruitment market knowledge, we provide valuable insights into the roles currently in demand, shedding light on market trends, salaries, and sought-after skills. In today’s article, Chris Cooper, Manager at Hunter Campbell shares his expertise on the role of CFO, specifically in growing small to medium businesses, a pivotal role in steering a company through expansion.

What does a CFO of a growing SME business do?

The CFO in a mid-cap business that is experiencing growth involves a combination of strategic, financial, and operational responsibilities.

  1. Compliance & Governance

Upholding regulatory standards and governance protocols to mitigate risk and ensure ethical practices.

  1. Commercial Finance & FP&A

Driving financial strategy through analysis, forecasting, and strategic decision-making.

  1. Cash Flow Management

Liquidity management to optimise cash flow and ensure financial stability.

  1. Strategic Planning

Crafting long-term financial strategies aligned with organisational objectives and market dynamics.

  1. Risk Management

Identifying and mitigating financial risks to safeguard assets and sustain growth momentum.

  1. Capital Structure & Financing

Optimising capital allocation and financing avenues to support growth initiatives.

  1. Technology & Innovation within Finance

Harnessing technological advancements to enhance financial operations and drive innovation.

  1. Talent Development

Cultivating a skilled financial team capable of executing strategic outcomes and fostering a culture of excellence.


Typical KPI’s of  CFO?

Common KPIs for a CFO include:

  1. Revenue Growth: Driving sustainable revenue expansion through strategic initiatives
  2. Profit Margins: Optimising profitability by balancing revenue generation with cost efficiencies.
  3. Cash Flow Metrics: Ensuring liquidity and operational continuity through effective cash flow management.
  4. Debt Management: Managing debt obligations to maintain financial flexibility and minimise risk.
  5. Cost Management: Implementing cost-effective measures to maximise efficiency and profitability.
  6. Governance & Compliance: Upholding regulatory compliance and governance standards to mitigate legal and reputational risks.
  7. Treasury & Liquidity Management: Safeguarding financial liquidity to support ongoing operations and strategic investments.

Key skills and qualifications required

  • Qualified Accountant (CA, CPA or Equivalent)
  • Key skills required;

Essential Skills and Qualifications for CFO Excellence

A CFO in a mid-cap business requires a blend of technical expertise and strategic foresight, with a base qualification of CA, CPA or equivalent

Key skills required include:

  • Financial & Commercial Acumen
  • Strategic Thinker
  • Effective Communicator
  • Leadership Capability
  • Economic Business Understanding
  • Change & Transformation Management
  • Technology & Innovation Implementation
  • Regulatory Compliance & Governance Exposure (technically strong)
  • Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) Experience
  • Mergers & Acquisitions Experience is often highly desirable

Softer skills needed for success

Success as a CFO hinges on essential soft skills, including:

  1. Effective communication skills enabling the CFO to clearly articulate financial insights
  2. Leadership & Team Management Skills enabling them to empower financial teams to achieve collective goals
  3. Adaptability and flexibility to navigate market landscapes with resilience.
  4. Collaboration and relationship-building skills enabling them to cultivate meaningful relationships across departments
  5. Leveraging interpersonal skills to influence strategic decision-making
  6. Problem-solving and critical thinking to analyse complex financial challenges
  7. Emotional Intelligence to successfully navigate interpersonal dynamics

Recruitment Forecast and Career Prospects

The next step from the position of CFO (HoF), could lead to executive leadership positions such as CEO or GM, contingent upon a robust commercial, strategic, and operational perspective.

Roles prior to a CFO roles are typically:

  • Financial Controller
  • Commercial (Finance) Manager
  • Head of Finance/GM Finance
  • Head of Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

Salary Guide

Compensation packages for CFOs typically include a base salary ranging from $225,000 to $350,000, supplemented by short-term incentives (STI) ranging from 15% to 30%.

Recent roles placed by HC

First Mortgage Trust – CFO


Haast Energy Trading – CFO

Walter & Wild – CFO

Fisher & Paykel – CFO

HydrOxys – CFO

Pet Nutrition Group – CFO

Farro Fresh – CFO

Blackhawk – CFO

Provincial Education Group – CFO

Cardrona Distillery – CFO

Husqvarna ANZ – CFO

Infrawork – CFO

If you are looking to hire a CFO, or looking for your next opportunity in this space, get in touch with Chris to chat through these insights and available opportunities.

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