Finance Department Strutures

Thinking long term here, currently at my first job post undergrad, I am a financial analyst. Have been looking at job postings for way down the line and noticed many different titles. I understand that every company is different but in general how are the finance and accounting departments structured and what experience do you need to eventually become a Finance Director or VP of Finance. I completely understand accounting, but will it be possible to eventually land one of these positions with no actual accounting job title on my resume? Can someone work up from FA > SFA > Finance Manager > Senior Finance Manager > Finance Director > VP of Finance? Reason I ask is I see a lot of VP of Finance jobs asking for accounting experience or Big 4.

Also what is the general structure at small to medium companies under the CFO? Are VP of Finance and Controller direct reports to the CFO and on the same level? Is the Finance Director reporting directly to the VP of Finance and has no official accounting responsibilities. Does the Controller report to the VP of Finance, and the VP of Finance oversees accounting and finance?

Comments (3)

Jan 11, 2020

You don't need to be an accountant to climb the FP&A ladder, but have a grasp on accounting concepts is necessary and having a strong command on accounting concepts may be required depending on the company and role. Generally the higher you go... the more likely it's needed.

I've worked at two small companies and it depends on the company's structure and responsibilities they ask.

Company 1: Controller and Director of Finance reported to CFO. Controller only oversaw accounting while Director oversaw only Finance. Director of Finance got promoted to VP and nothing changed.

Company 2: Controller reported to Director of Finance and he reported to VP of Finance. Director of Finance was a higher level and needed a strong grasp of accounting.

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Jan 13, 2020
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