First Advisor

Dave Nickel

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business: Finance and University Honors




Chief financial officers, Career development, Executives -- Promotions, Corporations -- Finance -- Management




Finance is a broad and dynamic field present in all aspects of business and industries. In any organization, the highest-ranking finance position is the Chief financial officer (CFO), a strategic partner to the Chief executive officer (CEO). In this position, CFOs hold the primary responsibility of planning, managing all finance activities of a company, including business planning, budgeting, mergers and acquisitions, forecasting, and negotiations. They must also provide leadership, direction, and management of the finance and accounting divisions. As a member of the executive management team, the CFO must provide financial, operational, and strategic insight that helps frame the decisions that will drive the future of the business. CFOs require a high level of experience not only with numbers but also in all aspects of an organization, "CFO not only takes on the traditional roles of financial control, financial integrity, transparency, timely accounting, and checks and balances, but also has a 360-degree view of the business" (EY Reporting, 2017). CFOs are held under scrutiny by investors, executives, and colleagues, due to this, positions are highly competitive and coveted among professionals. The purpose of this thesis is to uncover any trends that may impact the likelihood of an individual achieving the role of a "successful" CFO, through the analysis of the educational background and career paths of 100 CFOs, in public Fortune 500 Companies.


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