It was either a very bad or very good year for finance executives. The game of musical CFO chairs only spun faster, hordes of investment bankers hit the streets, and the high heat was fixed on everything from securitized assets to head count. But with credit elusive and companies in turmoil, aspiring finance chiefs with capital markets or operational backgrounds found themselves in a better position to move up. Adept risk managers and internal auditors, too, saw their stock rise, as companies scrambled to ward off potential (or actual) catastrophe. Here are the editors’ choices for CFO.com’s top careers stories of 2008:
Rather suddenly, companies aren’t any longer looking to make accountants into finance chiefs. In their fight for survival, they need a different breed.
What the looming recession may mean for job security in the tax, treasury, internal audit, and controller’s departments — as well as for CFOs themselves.
An often-misunderstood category of finance worker, which already was showing a rising profile, may now be in line for a quantum leap.
No longer a second-rate career move, taking an audit post can serve as a springboard to almost any finance role, including CFO.
With Wall Street imploding, swelling hordes of displaced financial-services workers face corporate disinterest and a bleak employment outlook.
With the job getting tougher, one in four Fortune 1,000 companies bid adieu to its finance leader in 2007 alone.
How a make-the-numbers mandate, threats from his bosses, and accounting skullduggery nearly destroyed him.
Are colleges focused too much on preparing students for public accounting and not enough for their later corporate careers?
To really know what drives value for a company and understand its business processes, Fung says, there may be no better training ground than internal audit.
Since knowledge is power, know all you can about your prospective superior’s habits, history, likes, and dislikes.
Understanding what makes recruiters tick is a vital but often overlooked component of the job hunt. In a shaky economy, it may be more crucial than ever.
How an accountant’s detour through law school led him to a dream job in finance.
Companies contemplating layoffs must consider a variety of issues, not all of which fit into a spreadsheet.
If you’re American, it’s relatively easy to get overseas finance experience. If you’re not, landing a finance gig in the United States can be tough. But either way, if you want to be a CFO, working abroad is an essential step.
What to do, what not to do, and how to think if you want to work for yourself.
More companies are hatching plans to compensate for the impending crush of retirements by senior executives. Will they be able to put a dent in a potentially ruinous problem?
Big investors and compensation consultants, both with much to gain and lose, dig in and defend their ground over “Say on Pay.”