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Chief financial officer

The chief financial officer (CFO) of a company is the person primarily responsible for financial planning and record-keeping. In recent years, however, the role has expanded to encompass communicating financial performance and forecasts to the analyst community. The title is equivalent to finance director, commonly seen in the United Kingdom.

Whereas a UK Finance Director is commonly a chartered accountant, it has become commonplace for non-accountants to become CFOs in the United States. Indeed, many CFOs have an MBA but no CPA or other accounting qualification. This has been criticised in some quarters as a contributory factor to the wave of accounting scandals seen in the US in 2002. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 aims to address this by requiring at least one member of the company's Audit Committee to hold an accounting qualification.

See also: company officer, board of directors, corporate title, chief executive officer, chief information officer, chief operating officer