The top CFO’s in the country earn some amazing salary; many in the millions of dollars. Part of the reason why their earnings are so high is because they play an integral part in helping a corporation save money and manage its finances. They generally work very long hours and perform a wide variety of job duties. They usually earn less than the chief executive officer. Of course not all CFO’s earn millions; these are the select few who happen to work for huge companies. Smaller companies and the government don’t have the funds to dole out huge salaries like that. 

One interesting fact to note is that the salary for financial officers actually surpassed that of CEO for 2010. Curious to know how much the top earners make? Let’s take at a few figures here. In addition to high pay, many also receive lots of incentives such as stock options worth millions of dollars. 

Let’s take a look at some of the top earners in the business world. GM’s Daniel Amman is a big earner with a salary that tops 750k a year. He also receives over three million dollars annually in stock options. Susan L Decker of Yahoo earned 15 million. Robert J Darretta of Johnson and Johnson earned over 11 million. Jeffrey N Edwards, the CFO of Merrill Lynch earned a reported 28 million dollars. 

Again, these are the top earners; salaries like these are nowhere near the average or norm at all. Some who work for a non-profit organization may even earn less than $100k a year. As a matter of fact, an individual who has held this title of 1-4 years earns on average between $36,000 to $110,000 which is nowhere near what the million dollar earners are making. A lot of it has to do with the type of company one works for and the amount of experience the CFO brings to the table. Huge companies like Merrill Lynch and Yahoo are able to pay top dollar for top talent. 

Let’s take a look at salary figures that are more average and common. A CFO with 1-4 years of experience can expect to earn anywhere between $36,000 to $110,000 whereas one with over 20 years of experience can earn between $74,000-$219,000. Now these are only averages; keep in mind that a CFO at a billion dollar corporations can earn millions of dollars along with millions in stock options as we’ve seen in the above examples. 

He or she will also need to be a leader and have the capability to manage a team. Long are the days when the job was merely about crunching numbers. Communication skills are vital for any CFO; they may need to deal with the press or explain complicated financial matters to co-workers in a way that is easy to understand. They would also need to perform various functions related to human resources and the technology field. The CFO has a direct impact on the bottom line of any company and that perhaps is the reason why their own bottom lines are so substantial.

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