Hospital CFO: Degree & Its Career

CFO is an abbreviation for a chief financial officer. CFO’s main duties involve maintaining the financial system within an institution and providing its smooth run.

A hospital CFO monitors the financial operations of every department within a hospital. In other words, a CFO manages a hospital’s budget.

What Are the Responsibilities of a CFO?

The money is essential in every industry. As a financial department is one of the most important parts of every institution, a CFO’s position in a hospital is crucial.

As a member of the hospital’s executive team, CFO decides about the investments, debts, insurance, tax, human resources, investors and other.

A chief financial officer:

  • deals with the financial aspects of a hospital
  • creates business strategies
  • prepares monthly and annual budget plans
  • analyses and implements policies and financial data
  • finds avenues in order to expand the business as well as the profit
  • balances the financial books
  • supervises the financial operations within a hospital
  • monitors benefit plans of the medical staff
  • creates both short and long-term financial plans and strategies
  • evaluates a budgetary performance
  • tracks money flow and writes financial reports
  • maintains the funds such as a pension fund

Besides having the knowledge about the medical market, a hospital CFO has to understand it well so he or she can make sure that the hospital is competitive in today’s market. The medical market’s challenges and opportunities cannot be missed if a hospital wants to stay in the game.

What Are the Education Requirements For the Role of a Hospital CFO?

Since a position for an officer requires a skilled professional, most of the hospitals seek an expert with at least a bachelor’s degree. Still, a master’s degree is the standard credential. Hospitals require a professional that has a degree and knowledge related to the fields listed below:

There are hospitals that will accept a qualified accountant (also known as a certified public accountant) who has approximately 10 years of relevant experience as well as a professional track record.

But most of hospitals won’t require a healthcare-related experience if an applicant possesses a degree in relevant fields.

What Skills Does CFO Have to Possess to Effectively Manage the Financial Operations?

In order to perform within a budget, a hospital needs a skilled financial executive, the one that is result-oriented and has a long-term vision. Besides having the knowledge in finance, accounting and management, a CFO has to possess these personal skills and attributes:

  • Communication skills – An excellence in both oral and written communication is crucial for a CFO. Speaking with clarity, concision and confidence on a meeting with a board of directors will show that a CFO is capable of influencing a hospital’s financial strategy.
  • Negotiation skills – The negotiation skills are related to the communication skills. Effective communication is a key to success when it comes to negotiations with the suppliers, investors and with finding avenues. An outcome that a CFO wants to achieve in money-related discussions depends on his or hers negotiation skills.
  • Analytical skills – These skills are important since CFO has to analyze the situation on the medical market and make decisions related to finances as well as to analytically operate the expenses. CFO has to analyze the information that is relevant to meeting a hospital’s financial goals.
  • Report writing skills – This is a skill that can be learned and mastered. CFOs have to report accurate budget-related information on a daily basis to a board of directors.
  • Strong leadership skills – An authoritarian attitude is a sign of a great leader and only a great leader can effectively coordinate a team whether it’s a team of the hospital accountants or any other team within a medical institution.

Neither of these skills can be labeled as less or more important since each of these skills is significant if a person wants to succeed at this position.

Besides the skills and attributes mentioned, CFO has to be ambitious, methodical as well as team-oriented.

What Is the Annual Income of a CFO?

When it comes to salary, CFOs can earn $257,000 per year. The average annual wage is estimated $90,000 a year.

Even though the average salary depends on the size of the hospital and a level of the CFO’s education as well as the area in which the hospital is situated, every CFO will be able to afford a good lifestyle.

A great knowledge about tax codes and cutting costs and a background in business or managerial area, such as an executive position or an accountant position, certainly helps a-CFO-to-be to understand how a hospital’s financial sector functions.

This is a profitable job position but it is also a demanding one since it comes with longer shifts and a long list of daily duties.