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September 30, 2023

CFO Career Path and Education

Hello, GC community.

I'm nowhere being in the C-Suite anytime soon, as I'm not even a high school graduate yet. But I plan on being a CFO someday and I have a few questions unanswered that are bothering me and if anyone could enlighten me on them, it would be much appreciated.

First, I do know what a CFO is. I've heard plenty of other high schoolers say they want to be a CEO then I ask them "You want to be a chief executive officer?" and their response… "No, I want to be a CEO."

Anyhow, is an accounting or financing degree more suitable for a CFO? Does it depend where you are a CFO at? I used to think it was a no brainer: "Duh, finance. Any idiot could figure it out. Financing degree for chief FINANCIAL officer, right?" But reading around and exploring the vast playground of what is known as the internet, I've come across a few interesting articles, blogs, forums, etc. where a number of CFOs started off in accounting, not finance, and have an accounting degree, again, not financing. I've heard you can get a degree in accounting and get a job in finance, but vice versa it doesn't go as well?

Then I have the question, if accounting is better suited for a chief financial officer, is a background in financial accounting more suited for a public CFO and is a management accounting background better for an accounting firm CFO? I hope at least one of you can understand this because I myself don't, hahaha! 

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