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If you’re good with numbers, thrive working on multiple projects, and enjoy managing teams, you could be a CFO in the making.

To achieve this, it is not enough to understand the finances of a business, as you will need to use a range of skills to be successful.

So what does it take to become a CFO? And how can a Masters in Accountancy (MACc) from Cambridge Judge Business School help you get there?


1. You will develop strong leadership skills

As CFO, you will be responsible for shaping the financial future of your business. It’s crucial that you understand what qualities are needed to become an effective leader if you see yourself filling the boots of a CFO.

“Accountants must learn to lead and influence, ensuring they are organizationally aware and able to spot problems so they don’t happen again,” says Ben Taylor (pictured), partner at EY and advisor to Cambridge Macc program.

cff90a85325f21276fc9a0e7bbe83747b769a311.jpg “You need to rise above technical standards and regulations and think as a leader about what those standards are trying to achieve and your role.”

As part of the 24-month part-time Cambridge Macc degree, leadership skills are integrated into several courses. The basic interpersonal dynamics course, for example, teaches students how to positively influence others, leverage their emotional intelligence, and navigate difficult conversations in the workplace.

In the Macc program, most students bring an average of eight years of work experience. In this way, students can reflect on their past actions and behavior at work during class discussions.

Kennedy Agyeman-Asiedu, a Cambridge MAcc alumnus and CFO of Habesha Breweries in Ethiopia, credits his Masters in Accounting for helping him build strong working relationships over the course of his career, enabling him to become a more successful financial leader. strong.

“I’ve learned that being a leader in the accounting world isn’t always about having your voice heard, but sometimes it can be about embracing ‘silent leadership’ by allowing others to speak” , he notes, adding that being a CFO is about “inspiring and developing people.


2. You will practice data-driven decision making

Ben from EY believes that understanding and interpreting data is key to becoming a good decision maker as an accountant and potential CFO.

“Accountants need to ask themselves what are the problems faced by companies where data is needed, whether it’s management, profitability, performance or risk,” he says.

“We’re working backwards, asking what data we need to collect, what disciplines will bring that data together in a reasonable format, we can look at it as a data supply chain.”

Courses like Cambridge Macc’s Descriptive Analytics and Predictive Analytics teach students how data can provide insight into the financial decisions they might be making. Students also learn to visualize data using tools such as Tableau, which helps them advise on the strategic direction of a business.

“The program taught us how you can use data to frame your ideas and think carefully about the message you want to send to the public about your ideas,” adds Kennedy, a Cambridge Macc alumnus.

The Cambridge Master of Accounting is also heavily invested in teaching students policy awareness and the ethics of financial reporting and auditing. The program teaches courses on topics such as cybersecurity and sustainability, ensuring that students consider these important areas when designing a financial strategy.


bb0f6ba529309ab91ecf7d23c047105a6c0eca28.jpg The Cambridge Master of Accounting degree arms you with the soft and hard skills needed to thrive in the financial industry ©Cambridge Judge


3. You will learn to adopt a global mindset

Being a leader in the field of accounting will mean working alongside colleagues and clients from very different backgrounds and cultures. If you are someone who can easily adapt to working with different people, you will thrive as a CFO.

Kennedy, a Cambridge Macc alumnus, is originally from Ghana but has worked in India, Ivory Coast, Kenya and now Ethiopia, where he is a CFO. He says his diverse outlook has allowed him to connect with a range of peers on the Cambridge Master of Accounting program, allowing him to thrive as a financial leader.

“I was able to share my experiences and my exposure as a finance professional in all these different markets, but also learn from my peers who came from countries in which I didn’t have a lot of exposure,” he notes. -he.

He was able to use the cross-cultural experiences gained during the program to propel his career forward. As CFO of Habesha Breweries, the Ethiopian subsidiary of Dutch brewer Bavaria NV, Kennedy works with stakeholders from diverse cultural backgrounds and is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction. He works closely with the CEO to identify the next steps for the business in a competitive landscape.

“Having that big picture perspective is the key to being open-minded, which allows you to be able to react and make better decisions because you have a broader spectrum of thinking.” he.

The accounting industry demands people who can look beyond numbers and data to identify growth trends, as well as effectively lead a team of people, negotiate effectively, and spot opportunities for change within auditing – from skills you can develop while studying for a Masters in Accountancy at Cambridge Judge.

“The Cambridge MAcc program broadens the mindset of students and reframes their way of thinking not only as an accountant, but also as a leader,” concludes Ben from EY.