Both an accounting expert and a team leader, the chief financial officer plays a vital role in any company. He or she acts as the financial controller and the accountant, as well as several other roles. His or her main responsibility is to oversee the financial management of the company, ensuring its financial stability and performance optimisation. So how much do CFOs earn on average? Does the activity sector affect pay? What criteria determine the figure on the payslip of a CFO?

The salary of a CFO of a subsidiary, site or business unit is approximately 62,000 euros gross per year - but depending on the company and various other criteria it can also be much higher. The salary of a Group CFO with more than 15 years of experience can be as high as 300,000 euros gross per year.

Find out more about the payscale of CFOs and other finance and accounting-related roles in our latest salary survey.

What criteria determine how much a CFO earns?

The salary of a CFO is calculated according to several criteria. His or her qualifications, professional experience related to the sector of activity, achievements, career path and seniority. It is also necessary to take into account the size of the company with larger groups usually being in a position to offer a higher salary.

Highly qualified CFOs with a master’s degree in economics, management, business law, human resources or finance and accounting can generally expect a higher salary. A postgraduate Diploma in Accounting and Management or a Master in Accounting and Auditing.

How do the salary levels of a CFO vary and which industry pays best?

The role of CFO requires solid skills in IT management software. It is also a position for which a good command of English is often required. A high level of expertise accounting practices is also a must. He or she must be forward-thinking, a team player, capable of assuring the management of banking operations and overseeing all of the company's activities. The CFO should be conscientious, an excellent communicator and a visionary in terms of financial strategy.

The demands of this role ensure that the salaries paid are normally in line with the skills required. A CFO with less than five years' experience can earn between 62,000 and 71,000 euros, while a more experienced CFO with between five and ten years' experience should expect between 71,000 and 84,000 euros gross annually, while a senior CFO with ten years' experience or more can look forward to an average salary of between 84,000 and 122,000 euros. At present and according to numerous studies on this topic, the sector that offers the best remuneration for a CFO is finance and banking. In second position are the pharmaceutical and insurance sectors. The ready-to-wear and mass distribution or retail sectors tend to offer less in terms of remuneration.

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