Suggestion Needed

I am a CPA and MBA with overall eighteen years of experience; eight years as a controller in manufacturing companies and making $150K plus 25% bonus. I am 43 and feeling bored with my role. I am almost up to my ceiling as far as my income. I am thinking of taking CFA exam. My question is, once I pass all three levels what kind of job and salary I should expect. Can I reach $300K after five years? Can CFA will lead me to a CFO position? Only some serious suggestions please. Thanks

There are WAY more qualified people on this board to address this than me, but I’ll get the ball rolling. If you are looking to double your base salary from an already healthy base by getting into a CFO role at a non-financial firm, I’m honestly not sure the CFA is the best fit for you. It would seem you would want to enhance your credentials with a certification program more focused on corporate finance. The CFA program does cover that a little, but at a basic level and probably with nothing you don’t already have a grasp on. Now, if you’re thinking about getting into a role managing a corp pension fund or dealing more intimately with investment management, maybe the CFA is something to consider. Another idea is to move from your controller role into financial risk management. Check out the GARP website about the FRM designation. But for a CFO track, based solely on your current credentials, I would think you just need to start creating opportunities by networking and sniffing around. Just my .02 in a depreciating currency.

My opinion is the same as Petacon in that a CFA wont really help much for CFO position. I think you should really look at different companies to make a jump and hope to transition into CFO role (maybe one where CFO could be a couple years away from retiring). The problem is that many companies wont want to hire a CFO with no CFO experience and as you get older it becomes harder and harder to be somewhere that you can transition into that role. Have you looked into Consulting? Maybe in Business Consulting or Restructuring. Your experience would really benefit you and you can certainly make more money, especially if your selling skills are good. Also, in the restructuring area you could gain experience as possible serving as temporary CFO at companies and that might allow you to make a permanent jump (FTI comes to mind). Restructuring can be VERY good, money wise. My thoughts are worth less than Petacon’s and in an even faster depreciating currency…

I agree with some of the above points. First, you need to figure out exactly what you want to do with your career. If you want to remain in the corporate world, read on. If not, you should be ready for an initial paycut, potentially longer hours, and taking on more general risk in a much more aggressive environment (i-banking). I am also in a corporate (non-IB) environment and make similar . I am a little confused by your question considering you have 18 years experience in corporate roles. You should have a good handle on what you need to do by now. Controller positions are definite stepping stones to CFO positions. Consider something within your company or another company in an Investor Relations (IR) or Corporate Finance role. For publicly traded companies, IR is a critical component of a CFO skillset. You need to network aggressively and get really solid at politics to get to the #1 finance spot in any company. If it is a money issue, and you don't want to be an Investment Banker, think about switching to a bigger company and acquiring stock options. In the corporate world, that is where you will begin to make .

I concurr, the CFA is largely an investment management or investment analysis credential and I don’t think it harm you moving forward, but I don’t know if it would be worth the trouble in your particular case. Willy

Great input from everyone. I really appreciate that. Thanks