Meeting on Hiring a CFO | Salary and Compensation | Focused Energy Virtual CFOs

2021 CFO Salary and Compensation Guide

Keeping your organization's finances in good order is an important part of running any business. A chief financial officer (CFO) can provide your business with the financial leadership it needs to stay on track with growth.

But how much does a CFO make? Can you afford to bring one onto your team? And are there any alternatives to hiring a CEO? Read on to learn more.

Related: Guide to hiring a CFO

What is an average CFO's salary?

When you're looking to bring a CFO on board, you want to attract talented, knowledgeable individuals. Mid-career professionals who have experience as a CPA or who hold an MBA are often prime candidates. They can help your business with budgeting, financial forecasting, planning, and reporting.

To find the right CFO for your team, it's important to offer a competitive salary and benefits package. Total compensation may include: healthcare benefits, stock options, bonuses, equity in the business, extended PTO and more.

Nationwide, though, the median salary for a CFO sits around $393,377. However, total compensation typically runs much higher than this when factoring in bonuses, benefits and stock options. The average salary for a CFO depends on several factors, like the business location, the exact job duties, and how much experience you want the candidate to have.  For example, the average CFO compensation in Denver is $246,122.

If you want to attract the best talent, you may want to offer compensation towards the higher end of that scale.

Average CFO salary by state

State Annual Salary Monthly Pay Weekly Pay Hourly Wage
Washington $166,488 $13,874 $3,202 $80.04
New York $156,365 $13,030 $3,007 $75.18
New Hampshire $151,395 $12,616 $2,911 $72.79
California $148,459 $12,372 $2,855 $71.37
Vermont $142,904 $11,909 $2,748 $68.70
Massachusetts $142,587 $11,882 $2,742 $68.55
Wyoming $139,777 $11,648 $2,688 $67.20
Idaho $139,707 $11,642 $2,687 $67.17
Hawaii $138,312 $11,526 $2,660 $66.50
Maine $137,491 $11,458 $2,644 $66.10
West Virginia $135,883 $11,324 $2,613 $65.33
Texas $135,492 $11,291 $2,606 $65.14
Pennsylvania $135,226 $11,269 $2,601 $65.01
Connecticut $134,766 $11,230 $2,592 $64.79
Rhode Island $132,632 $11,053 $2,551 $63.77
Montana $132,411 $11,034 $2,546 $63.66
New Jersey $132,077 $11,006 $2,540 $63.50
Alaska $131,695 $10,975 $2,533 $63.32
Maryland $131,112 $10,926 $2,521 $63.03
Arizona $131,049 $10,921 $2,520 $63.00
North Dakota $130,733 $10,894 $2,514 $62.85
Nevada $130,660 $10,888 $2,513 $62.82
Indiana $130,209 $10,851 $2,504 $62.60
Nebraska $129,019 $10,752 $2,481 $62.03
Minnesota $128,244 $10,687 $2,466 $61.66
Tennessee $128,193 $10,683 $2,465 $61.63
Wisconsin $127,796 $10,650 $2,458 $61.44
Virginia $127,327 $10,611 $2,449 $61.22
Ohio $127,263 $10,605 $2,447 $61.18
South Dakota $126,916 $10,576 $2,441 $61.02
Georgia $126,419 $10,535 $2,431 $60.78
Kentucky $125,655 $10,471 $2,416 $60.41
Utah $125,507 $10,459 $2,414 $60.34
Oregon $124,988 $10,416 $2,404 $60.09
Louisiana $124,371 $10,364 $2,392 $59.79
Alabama $123,464 $10,289 $2,374 $59.36
Kansas $123,167 $10,264 $2,369 $59.21
South Carolina $123,166 $10,264 $2,369 $59.21
Colorado $122,730 $10,227 $2,360 $59.00
Delaware $122,533 $10,211 $2,356 $58.91
Iowa $122,304 $10,192 $2,352 $58.80
New Mexico $121,437 $10,120 $2,335 $58.38
Oklahoma $119,912 $9,993 $2,306 $57.65
Florida $119,150 $9,929 $2,291 $57.28
Mississippi $115,390 $9,616 $2,219 $55.48
Arkansas $115,255 $9,605 $2,216 $55.41
Michigan $115,170 $9,598 $2,215 $55.37
Illinois $114,630 $9,553 $2,204 $55.11
Missouri $112,731 $9,394 $2,168 $54.20
North Carolina $104,956 $8,746 $2,018 $50.46

*as reported by ZipRecruiter.com

Can you afford a CFO on your team?

Before you hire a CFO, it's important to take a look at your budget to see if you can truly afford it. Of course, hiring a CFO will have immense benefits. With their guidance, you can make sure your business is on a trajectory towards growth and financial success. In the long-term, having a CFO on staff will pay for itself.

But thinking in the short term, it's necessary to consider if hiring a CFO is the right move. In addition to their salary, they will need other competitive compensation and benefits. Often, for smaller or medium-sized businesses, a full-time CFO is not an option that fits with their budget.

Business owners or CEOs may fill this role when their business is starting out, but this isn’t a long-term solution. Nor is ignoring this critical role for analysis, cost management and financial planning.

But before resigning yourself to not having financial services for your business, there's another option to consider!

Outsourcing a CFO

It's possible to bring a CFO onto your team in a fractional capacity. This means they will work part-time or on a consultancy basis, so you can meet the financial needs of your business without going over budget.

You can work with an outsourcing company that seeks out the best CFO talent and brings it directly to you. This means you don't have to go through the hiring process, you don't have to pay the employee benefits, and you can bring them on for the exact amount of hours you need, whether that's just a few hours a month, or a part-time weekly schedule.

Your business gets the knowledge and expertise to continue on a trajectory of growth at a fraction of the cost of hiring a CFO, so you can rest assured that you won't be putting your company's financial future in jeopardy.

Learn more about Focused Energy's CFO & financial services

Get started with a CFO for your team

If you want to attract the best CFO talent fast, Focused Energy can help. We offer CFO services like fractional CFOs and consulting to help your business budget, plan, and report on all the important financial data you need to fuel growth.

The team at Focused Energy strives to learn and understand everything about your business, so we can match you with the CFO services you need. We understand that success is built on true partnerships, and we help businesses of all sizes. If you want to learn more about what we do or how we can help you, contact us.

Focused Energy's outsourced CFO provides the insights & expertise, without the full-time salary

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