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One of the biggest challenges for organizations is determining the best way to maximize profits. Executive leadership teams often rely on financial managers to create reports and perform financial analysis before making business decisions.
If your goal is to become a financial manager, there are a few things you should consider, including understanding daily responsibilities, job outlook and how to land a position with an organization.
What Does a Financial Manager Do?
Financial managers are regarded as important members of any business since they work closely with senior management to analyze company data and make business decisions on profitability. Since most financial managers are in a leadership position, it’s common for them to have a team they oversee whose responsibility is to conduct financial reporting and budgeting.
A financial manager is responsible for ensuring that a company’s financial details are current and in line with legal requirements. Since they deal with legal teams, financial managers need to have a solid understanding of tax law and financial regulation on a state and federal level.
A few other responsibilities you can expect as a financial manager include:
- Discovering ways to reduce costs across the company
- Identifying opportunities for expansion
- Preparing monthly and quarterly financial statements and business reports
- Performing forecasts for different company brands
Different Financial Manager Career Paths
While a financial manager can be described as an individual whose responsibility is to maximize profits and monitor financial performance, the truth is there are many different titles you can hold.
Below are a few of the most common job titles that a financial manager might hold throughout their career:
- Risk manager
- Credit manager
- Insurance manager
Financial Manager Job Outlook
One of the benefits of becoming a financial manager is the job opportunities. Like other careers in the finance industry, financial managers are expected to experience significant job growth over the next decade.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job opportunities for financial managers are projected to grow 17% from 2020 to 2030. This rate is significantly higher than the expected 8% job growth of all occupations over the next decade.
Top Skills for a Financial Manager
With a wide range of responsibilities, financial managers must have the appropriate skills to handle various tasks. Along with being comfortable with numbers, financial managers will need the following skill sets to advance to more senior positions:
- Written and verbal communication skills to explain complex financial concepts
- Analytical skills
- Close attention to numerical detail
- Strong foundation in international finance
- Organizational skills
Steps to Becoming a Financial Manager
Earn a Bachelor’s Degree
The first step to becoming a financial manager is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. While having a degree in finance, accounting or economics will provide you with more relevant finance knowledge, a bachelor’s degree in business is also useful.
A business or finance degree will offer classes that help students learn how businesses operate and teach them the important analytical skills they need to succeed in a finance career.
Upon graduation and entering the workforce, you may consider earning certifications. While it’s not a requirement to obtain a professional certification, it can help you stand out when applying for a financial management position.
Depending on what area of finance you plan on specializing in, different types of certifications are available. For example, financial professionals who plan on working in corporate financial planning can earn the Certified Corporate FP&A Professional credential to demonstrate their proficiency and skill. Likewise, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential is the preferred certification for professionals working in investment banking.
Look into MBA Programs
Since financial managers frequently oversee employees and work with senior management teams, it’s important to develop leadership and communication skills. One way to do this is by pursuing a master’s of business administration (MBA) degree.
Most MBA degrees will allow students to learn new leadership skills and how to communicate with business professionals effectively. Some colleges offer a concentration in finance that will provide future graduates with coursework that dives deeper into financial modeling and analysis.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the duties and responsibilities of a financial manager?
Financial managers are responsible for monitoring and optimizing the financial health of a business. It’s common for a financial manager to create long-term financial goals for the organization and provide guidance for company-wide investment activity.
What does it take to be a finance manager?
While there are many steps an individual needs to take to become a finance manager, the most important qualifications are a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of experience in a finance or accounting role.
How can I get an MBA in finance?
Finance is one of the most popular choices for an MBA specialization. Colleges may offer a finance track with their MBA programs that allow students to take classes like corporate investments, financial analysis or financial modeling.
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