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finance career path, next step

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  • Dec 22nd, 2020 10:53 am
[OP]
Banned
Nov 9, 2020
19 posts
10 upvotes

finance career path, next step

Been in the career for a while, get to know almost all the aspect of the job, like GL, budget, statement, p/l, pricing, data crunching, business case etc etc. report to CFO.

I think my next step upward would be a cfo, like be my boss, manage a small size company's finance department report to the owner.
But, again, like what I saw, it would be a lot work: review, signature, manage relationship with peer VP, sling shit, avoid shit, LOL, manage odd and stupid team member, silly question. politics, and deal with rude and thrifty owner, for not much more pay.
In small company, CFO wasn't paid a lot, some are even paid lower than myself, LOL, (i am at 80k. btw) . at 100k+ there will be a lot of scrutiny, judgement, that employer want to squeeze money every day, though they pay their electrician 90k just fine.

What other option for me?

I am kind of all-rounded finance guy now, which specific path bring more $?
process improvement analyst? pricing ? special project management?
I have seen these titled guy around my place, they are probably paid better than the finance / accounting guy for what they do.
and their stuff dealing special project is actually more interesting than day to day financial stuff. Those roles are usually capped at 100k but I think they are more interesting, and maybe not as many supply as a general finance role has.

And another question is how easy to get to self-employment role in finance field?
How easy company want to accept consultant into their finance team?
what kind of role is that?
Do I need to open a company myself or just apply jobs and ask for self-employment status?

thx all for any advice.
15 replies
Sr. Member
Jan 1, 2015
676 posts
578 upvotes
Toronto, ON
You forgot to include what qualifications you have. Are you a designated CPA (CA/CMA), CFA, or anything else?
Deal Addict
Sep 30, 2011
1785 posts
469 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
CPA (CA/CMA) minimal, I am not sure CFA even matters
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Sr. Member
Jan 1, 2015
676 posts
578 upvotes
Toronto, ON
napoleonbot wrote: CPA (CA/CMA) minimal, I am not sure CFA even matters
A lot of companies look for CFA for CFO positions and CPA for Controller positions. It does matter, but would depend on the company.
Deal Addict
Sep 30, 2011
1785 posts
469 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
FrugalConsumer wrote: A lot of companies look for CFA for CFO positions and CPA for Controller positions. It does matter, but would depend on the company.
Not sure, CFA is more to financial institution, stock capital market etc.
But I am not going to do another charter, I should have qualified CFA 1 right off MBA programs, if I wrote in the exam.
But the point is those charter are doing nothing to get a better pay.
Lol, my employer may not even pay me to get another 1000$ membership, my CPA fee is already like pulling a teeth. All company same.

Just got, another indeed notification, senior accountant, with bunch of requirement only 50to80k,
Wtf, I am just told to budget forklift driver at 22$now, wtf.
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Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2014
2261 posts
1018 upvotes
Alberta
napoleonbot wrote: Not sure, CFA is more to financial institution, stock capital market etc.
But I am not going to do another charter, I should have qualified CFA 1 right off MBA programs, if I wrote in the exam.
But the point is those charter are doing nothing to get a better pay.
Lol, my employer may not even pay me to get another 1000$ membership, my CPA fee is already like pulling a teeth. All company same.

Just got, another indeed notification, senior accountant, with bunch of requirement only 50to80k,
Wtf, I am just told to budget forklift driver at 22$now, wtf.
What’s your goal, to be comfortable and make decent money or are you looking to make $$$$.

If you are the former, look for other owner operated businesses that are looking for a cfo or controller to become cfo (there is a path available).

The other option is to go to a controller or director of finance at larger organizations. Those pay 120k+, move up from there to VP, SVP, CFO. CFOs at these companies make high 6 figures.
Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 5, 2003
741 posts
81 upvotes
Mississauga
I would look into specializing in the finance field. In my experience those with desired specialized experiences are usually better paid. Consider something like FP&A or internal audit. I am in Treasury and it is also a very niche segment of finance with fairly good pay range.
Deal Addict
Apr 7, 2011
1894 posts
416 upvotes
If you're in a larger company it's harder to move into a smaller one because you're unlikely to be familiar with all the items a CFO may need to do: income tax, commodity tax, arranging financing, audit etc.
Deal Addict
Sep 30, 2011
1785 posts
469 upvotes
MISSISSAUGA
Genia11 wrote: I would look into specializing in the finance field. In my experience those with desired specialized experiences are usually better paid. Consider something like FP&A or internal audit. I am in Treasury and it is also a very niche segment of finance with fairly good pay range.
I am doing FP&A now, what is the expected salaries.
And the specialized skills will be pretty much around excel, right?
What other things to get ?
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Sr. Member
User avatar
Jul 5, 2003
741 posts
81 upvotes
Mississauga
The specialized skills is not necessarily around excel. It might be other analytical tools such as Tableau. But I think most importantly, in order to be a top earner, especially in FP&A, is the analytical abilities and the ability to frame those observations within your organization’s objectives.

As to pay, I have seen postings for FP&A Managers paying between 80k to $120k.
napoleonbot wrote: I am doing FP&A now, what is the expected salaries.
And the specialized skills will be pretty much around excel, right?
What other things to get ?
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
11771 posts
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Toronto
FrugalConsumer wrote: A lot of companies look for CFA for CFO positions and CPA for Controller positions. It does matter, but would depend on the company.
Incorrect.
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User avatar
Dec 16, 2015
2708 posts
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Technoking
napoleonbot wrote: Not sure, CFA is more to financial institution, stock capital market etc.
But I am not going to do another charter, I should have qualified CFA 1 right off MBA programs, if I wrote in the exam.
But the point is those charter are doing nothing to get a better pay.
Lol, my employer may not even pay me to get another 1000$ membership, my CPA fee is already like pulling a teeth. All company same.

Just got, another indeed notification, senior accountant, with bunch of requirement only 50to80k,
Wtf, I am just told to budget forklift driver at 22$now, wtf.
Are you sure? Lots of CPAs are having trouble with lvl1. It involves a different set of thinking, not regular reporting and simple ratio and variance analysis.
To the moon
Sr. Member
May 6, 2013
765 posts
284 upvotes
Toronto
I wrote the CFA Level 1 about 10 years ago passed easily (Finance major), wrote Level 2 about 1.5 years later (just missed cut). Realized the finance landscape really changed post recession, moved into Big Data and never looked back. Best career move I ever made, also quite sure I earn more now than I ever would in the finance field (except IB). Unfortunately having a CFA in the Toronto area is possibly the most CFA saturated market in the world so its just not as much as a bargaining chip as it should be.
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Nov 2, 2013
5529 posts
1416 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
Wow, reading these posts and threads, combined with the LinkedIn and other job posts, isn't very encouraging. Here I am coming from being a former business owner, to a former $132K (pre-COVID) yearly income... and to an accounting student, looking to get my CPA in case I cannot get into law.

Out here in the west there's always demand for CPAs, even in the financial sector. Alternatively, many senior financial roles ask for a CPA or CFA interchangeably.

Problem is the ones who are looking for someone, usually are doing so for a reason - they don't pay much. In the old days, if you were good at what you did, and put several years in: you were around the $100K mark. Now they want to pay a CPA with 5-10 years of experience $70,000. Alternatively they'd take one without a charter at all so they can pay such a person $50,000. Bear in mind $100K was worth a lot more 5-10 years ago.

"Finance" is also very broad. There are many who work across different parts of "Finance" who do not even have university degrees, or are in a top position somewhere with a completely unrelated degree, with no graduate credential. For example, a lot of finance jobs are really glorified salespeople jobs. Investment banking is very different than commercial.. then commercial banking vs. personal banking is very different. Financial firms often just want to sell their funds or some other investment product, while they claim they are doing much more. Then you have specialized portfolio or asset management teams that are extremely close-knit and few in number. Those guys often could care less about how much experience or credentials you have. Rather, if they just don't see themselves working with you, you won't get selected. For example, think of certain firms where only physically attractive people work. This phenomenon is much worse for females.

What is a good candidate for a given job is also very subjective. Over the years, selection processes have been becoming increasingly emotional. They want people who "fit in", or someone they can "mold" into one of them. You can generally assume one's character within a few minutes of conversing with them. Though that's just a first step, it's already enough for someone on the other end to decide whether you are liked or not.
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Member
Sep 14, 2006
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RSXPrem wrote: I wrote the CFA Level 1 about 10 years ago passed easily (Finance major), wrote Level 2 about 1.5 years later (just missed cut). Realized the finance landscape really changed post recession, moved into Big Data and never looked back. Best career move I ever made, also quite sure I earn more now than I ever would in the finance field (except IB). Unfortunately having a CFA in the Toronto area is possibly the most CFA saturated market in the world so its just not as much as a bargaining chip as it should be.
What is your role in Big Data and what are the required credentials for it?
Sr. Member
May 6, 2013
765 posts
284 upvotes
Toronto
cleanvibe wrote: What is your role in Big Data and what are the required credentials for it?
I am in the engineering and platform architecting side of things, creds will vary on the job and tools used

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