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Finance Manager: Definition, Courses, Job Roles, Skills, Salary

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According to a report by Statista, the total revenue of the Finance market is expected to show an annual growth rate of 14.97%, resulting in a projected market volume of 18.75 Million USD by the year 2027. These numbers stand as a testimony to the fact that the financial market will rise to an incredible extent, thus creating more jobs. As businesses strive to dwell deep into the complexities of the global economy, the demand for skilled professionals who can efficiently manage finances and make more mindful decisions is on the rise. In this blog post, we will look into the world of financial management, the roles and responsibilities of financial managers, the path to becoming one, and much more.

What is Financial Management?

According to J.F. Bradley – “Financial management is that area of business management devoted to a judicious use of capital and a careful selection of the source of capital in order to enable a spending unit to move in the direction of reaching the goals.”

To simplify, financial management encompasses the planning, organising, and controlling of financial resources within an organisation to achieve its objectives. It involves analysing financial data, creating budgets, monitoring cash flow, making investment decisions, and managing risks. Financial managers play a crucial role in ensuring the financial health and sustainability of a company by providing strategic guidance and executing financial strategies.

What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Finance Manager?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of finance managers is expected to grow by 15% from 2020 to 2030. The report also said that it is much faster than the average for all occupations. Hence, it can be concluded that there are more jobs in this domain than in any other.

The financial activities of an organisation are one of the most complex activities which require an expert who has sound knowledge of the industry and relevant skills to do justice.

Hence, let’s take a look at what are the roles and responsibilities of a Finance Manager:

• Financial Planning and Analysis

Financial managers analyse market trends, prepare financial reports, and develop strategies to achieve financial goals. According to a survey by Deloitte, more than 60% of organisations who participated in the survey are planning to alter their Financial Planning and Analysis methods. Leading organisations have already made progress and are better integrating and connecting operational and financial planning. More than 50% of finance teams have set up well-connected sales and finance plans and 35% have linked up personnel and financial plans.

change in financial planning path from traditional to intelligent planning

Source: Deloitte

• Budgeting and Cost Control

Financial managers are also responsible for creating budgets, monitoring expenses, and implementing cost-cutting measures to optimise financial performance.

• Risk Management

Financial managers identify and mitigate financial risks, such as market fluctuations, currency exchange rates, and interest rate changes. A study by McKinsey & Company highlighted the evolving role of financial managers. It emphasised the importance of strategic financial leadership, collaboration across functions, and the ability to leverage data and analytics to drive informed decision-making.

• Investment Management

Finance managers play an important role in investment and understanding which projects will give a greater ROI. Additionally, they evaluate investment opportunities, conduct feasibility studies, and make recommendations on investment strategies.

• Financial Reporting

Financial managers prepare financial statements, reports, and presentations for stakeholders, ensuring compliance with the regulations and accounting standards of the organisation.

• Cash Flow Management

They monitor cash inflows and outflows, manage liquidity, and optimise working capital to support day-to-day operations.

• Strategic Financial Decision-Making

Financial managers provide guidance on mergers and acquisitions, capital structure, and financial negotiations to support the organisation’s strategic objectives.

How to Become a Financial Manager?

Becoming a financial manager typically requires a combination of education, experience, and skills. Moreover, some students also opt for certificate courses from e-learning platforms to brush up on their skills. Beginners who have entered the financial industry can get jobs as junior tax accountant, loan officer, personal finance advisor, or accountant.

• Educational Requirements

A student is eligible to pursue this career with a bachelor’s degree in finance, business management, or its equivalent degree in the field of finance management. Although, for senior positions, a master’s degree is also required. Additionally, employers can also take a look at internships, and previous work experience.

• Certifications

Certification is optional but suggested if you plan on a long-term career in finance management. The type of certification you earn can be aligned with your job title, role and specialisation.

Here are some of the common certifications in this field:

    1. Certified Management Account Certification is offered by the Institute of Management Accountants and is ideal for anyone wanting to work in financial management.
    2. Chartered Financial Analyst Certification offered by the CFA Institute focuses on investment analysis. This certification is perfect for higher-level profiles.
    3. Certified Government Financial Manager Certification offered by the Association of Government Accountants is for professionals who work in government financial management specifically.
    4. Certified Treasury Professional Certification offered by the Association of Financial Professionals. This certification focuses on risk management, corporate liquidity, and much more.

Skills

As we have discussed before, a successful career in finance management requires the perfect amalgamation of field knowledge and business skills. Hence, for a finance manager, it is vital to understand both management and finance.

You can build a successful career in the field of finance management if you hold these skills:

Requisite Skills 
Workplace Skills  Technical Skills 
Good communication Basic and advanced maths skills
Problem-solving skills Computer skills
Detail-oriented Proficiency in financial management systems
Analytical skills Understanding of statistical modelling software and spreadsheets
Strong decision-making skills Proficiency in accounting principles and techniques
Risk management Understanding investment principles

Top Companies that Hire Financial Managers

A study by Robert Half, a leading staffing firm, found that financial management roles are in high demand globally. The study reported that 74% of CFOs expressed difficulty in finding skilled financial professionals. Thus, indicating a shortage of qualified professionals.

Hence, it is evident that several leading companies across various industries recognise the importance of financial managers in driving their financial strategies. Here is a list of world-renowned organisations that frequently hire financial managers:

  1. Goldman Sachs
  2. JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  3. Microsoft Corporation
  4. Amazon.com, Inc.
  5. Procter & Gamble Co.
  6. General Electric Company
  7. Exxon Mobil Corporation
  8. Johnson & Johnson
  9. Coca-Cola Company
  10. Berkshire Hathaway Inc., and others

What is the Future Scope?

Today, as we know, technology is at par with human intelligence and is entering most industries. Similarly, the finance industry is also adopting technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation to reshape the financial management landscape. To validate this point, let’s take a look at a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers. It stated that 77% of financial services executives believed that AI would significantly impact financial management by 2023.

Despite everything, various industries have a high demand for financial managers. For example, healthcare organisations require financial managers with knowledge of healthcare financing as well as reimbursement systems, while technology companies seek professionals with expertise in financial modelling and risk management for tech investments. Similarly, other industries can put AI to use through finances.

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