Career Guide

Financial Manager

Ben Maples  · Sep 23rd 2020

Are you intrigued by numbers, and how money makes the world go round?

Glasses, pens, graphs, tablets and a laptop

We might have the perfect job for you! Some may wonder, ‘why do businesses need finance’ but it’s vital to the entire company. A financial manager has a good head for figures and can grasp economic systems. They’re found across most sectors, so the opportunities are always overflowing. Can’t wait to find out more? Then read our comprehensive guide below!

Financial Manager Career Guide

What is financial management?

The role of the finance department is to manage procedures, spending, budgets and funding. They may work in the background, or you feel you don’t deal with them very often, but the importance of the finance department is paramount. There are several careers in accounting and finance and meet up, cross over and work together, and one of those we’re delving into today is business and financial management.

What is a financial manager?

Now, what is a finance manager? They’re at the heart of all big decisions, support clients, provide guidance and deal with complex finance models. They have an excellent insight into financial procedures and systems, can make magic with numbers and confident choices. The role of a financial manager can be across various sectors, both private and public including, universities, charities, NHS trusts, international corporations, retailers and manufacturing companies.

The average senior finance manager salary is between £35,000 and £45,000 within the banking sector.

Under the financial controller definition, it’s merely the lead accountant who oversees activities and ensures ledgers are accurate for money coming in and out of business. Suppose we take the finance manager job description, we find that budget planning and following statutory legislation is crucial. Also, the finance director definition extends to planning for both long and short term and following company policies. The role of a financial controller can also be a financial analyst or business analyst.

What are the duties and responsibilities of a finance manager?

Precisely what does a finance manager do? They know all functions of business finance and can either deal with accounts or strategic analysis. The finance department responsibilities can vary slightly depending on the size of the corporation. But in general, financial managers will interpret information, monitor cash flows, analyse change, and predict future trends and advise their clients based on this data. They will research business performance, create strategies, plan business proposals, and study market trends. A personal finance manager will analyse competitors, try to minimise financial risk and review cost-reduction options. Managing systems and monitoring accountings are also standard. Communicating with auditors, networking with allied professionals and filing accurate reports by deadlines are essential. Also, keeping up to date with legislation and regulations is crucial.

Financial Manager Career

How to become a financial manager?

Any graduate can apply to be a financial manager, but particular subjects will better your chances of making it a reality. Studying economics, statistics, business, finance, management, accountancy or mathematics will help as they’re related to the job role. It’s also not essential to go on and study a postgraduate qualification, but it can be useful if you want to work in a specialist area. Having both degrees in relevant subjects will provide an advantage when seeking employment. After studying related finance manager qualifications, you could apply for a graduate scheme.

It is possible to get a job in this career without a degree, but bypassing A-levels, and then HNC or HND courses with the Institute of Financial Accountants (FA) or Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). After this, you can undertake accountancy training and progress to a finance manager role. Obtaining membership with a professional organisation shows you are committed to the industry, and registration is open to individuals without a degree so you can join before you graduate. If you’re wondering how to become a finance director, you can attend career fairs, apply for graduate schemes and listen to university talks for more insight into the role. When applying for work, you should show your passion for finance and experience of handling cash samples in other job roles.

The role of the finance department is to manage procedures, spending, budgets and funding.

Some organisations will pay for professional progression and courses and allow study leave. You may travel and work abroad, depending on if you work for a large company or a multinational business.

What skills should finance director roles have?

If being the top of the finance game is the dream, you may be wondering ‘what skills should a CFO have?’. Firstly, analytical, technical, numeracy and problem-solving skills are essential. Also, having a strong awareness of business, commercial, and finance is crucial. A financial accounting manager will need to have excellent communication, negotiation and time management skills to talk to clients, allied professionals and meet deadlines.

Managing finance requires the ability to juggle more than one thing at a time, a healthy initiative, and a genuine interest in all things financial. A money manager may be required to be curious and investigative, so they stay ahead of the curve and see what competitors are doing. Attention to detail, having decent management skills and being able to make quick and efficient decisions are vital. Building strong relationships and keeping up to date with commercial regulations is part of the commercial finance manager role.

Financial Manager

What is the average financial director salary?

The finance assistant salary can be within the range of £24,000, but an assistant finance manager salary can be as high as £35,000 for recruits. The average senior finance manager salary is between £35,000 and £45,000 within the banking sector. Qualified accountants who work in not-for-profit agencies, charities and within public service can earn within this range too. The financial director salary for someone with several years of experience can be within £65,000 and £100,000. However, wages differ between companies, experience level and specialist knowledge. Earnings can be subsidised with pension schemes, bonuses and location allowance, i.e., working in London.

Any graduate can apply to be a financial manager, but particular subjects will better your chances of making it a reality.

What are accounting prospects?

A financial systems manager can work across a range of areas, from business and government to industry and universities. Some people train in certified accountants or chartered organisations or within the public sector, like health authorities or colleges. The career tends to start in small to medium-sized companies (SMEs) and working as a consultant or on a freelance basis is possible but usually is only an option after several years of experience. Most individuals will begin at a lower level, pass professional qualifications and then move into an accountancy manager role later on. For example, someone who is a school finance manager can progress to a university managerial role within the finance department following experience and training.

This role has transferable skills for other sectors, including HR and managerial positions as an example. Other options include gaining fellowship following a particular time in service with professional governing bodies, like CIMA and ACCA, or moving and working overseas.

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