Senior Executive Assistant jobs normally involve reporting to one of the C-level managers or Managing Directors, depending on the terms used at your organisation. One of the most senior Executive Assistant jobs is the job title of Executive Assistant to the CFO. Generally, these jobs will carry greater responsibility, greater exposure to the business, and higher salaries. Therefore many Executive Assistants are interested to know how it is possible to get a job as the Executive Assistant to the CFO or other C-level managers.

Executive Assistant to the CFO

As with all EA jobs, one of the most important characteristics of a successful and senior Executive Assistant will be a broad range of commercial awareness. The Executive Assistant to the CFO supports the Executive level manager of Finance. Therefore, a broad range of knowledge of finance financial terms and how to interpret financial reports will assist you greatly in supporting the CFO.

Financial Reports

When looking at these extra business and financial skills needed, we should evaluate whether you understand financial terms and reports. This means that you need to understand the key financial reports:

  • Balance Sheet
  • Profit and Loss
  • Cashflow statements
  • Budgets
  • Forecasts
  • KPI Reports for Finance

Executive Assistants should aim to gain an understanding of these reports, how they look, how they are structured and how to interpret them. This will make it easier to minute meetings at financial meetings. Additionally, it will be easier to edit documents and recognise important documents and priorities.

Financial Knowledge for an Executive Assistant

Additionally, one of the biggest barriers to working with a CFO is the large number of financial technologies used within finance. The EA of the CFO should aim to learn the most common financial management terms. This means they should understand terms like:

  • Liquidity
  • Debt
  • Equity
  • Profits
  • Margins
  • Cost Management
  • and a few more

There is no need to be an accountant or finance person. All you need to understand is the key financial terms used in reports and meetings.

Business Knowledge

Additional areas that could be useful for anybody supporting the CFO could be learning the fundaments of Project Management. CFOs are commonly involved in or administering Projects. Therefore, the CFO’s Assistant will need to understand the area well. This means you do not have to study Project Management to a high level, but a broad awareness of the topic is needed.

ERP Systems

It would also be useful for you to understand how to use very popular systems with Finance people. The most obvious system is your company’s ERP system. Well-known providers are Oracle and SAP, but you can see a more detailed explanation in our ERP post. Systems like Excel, PowerPoint, and Power BI are likely the most commonly used in this type of area.

Finally, the company secretarial area is something that the CFO often has responsibility for or connection to. An awareness of how company secretary work is carried out will assist you in this role. The good news about the Executive Assistant role to the CFO as these terms may seem daunting, but they can be mastered within a few days of training, and once you know, you will feel more confident.

These areas of knowledge will arm you to support anybody at C-Level, which means you could potentially support the CEO or other C-Level managers without any major issues. The IEAA runs an Executive Assistant Diploma that includes finance training as an option. Therefore, you can either up to look at our Diploma, or you can opt to take our Finance Course for an Executive Assistant. If this interests you, please go to the course pages where you can see further details, and if you have any enquiries, don’t hesitate to contact us.