Financial Managers take care of all the responsibilities involved with the flow of money and other assets, using their deep understanding of the laws, regulations, and procedures regarding finances. They create and design different approaches and tactics to successfully meet established goals. Financial Managers are also in charge of reviewing and reporting the general profits and performance of their employers, as well as guiding other members of the team so they can fully understand and use the same financial information.
The responsibilities and tasks undertaken by a Financial Manager may vary from one company to the other as it is a rather general term. Depending on the size and type of company they are working for, their role will change to adapt to the necessities of their employer. For example, the Financial Manager of a food chain is expected to have some background and knowledge in culinary businesses, while a Financial Manager working for an IT company would be concerned with the latest advancements in that field. They also need to apply their financial skills to the specific market and niche they serve.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Financial Managers are required to complete.
- Performing regular management duties, including handling financial data, documenting and submitting reports, analyzing trends, and evaluating the financial performance of the company.
- Supervising the overall operations and development of all financial departments in a company:
- Reviewing and creating policies to regulate the financial operations within the company;
- overseeing the collection and analysis of financial data;
- estimating costs and profits in order to foresee the achievement of established goals;
- using mathematical and statistical models to foresee economic and financial trends;
- conducting regular evaluations on all financial procedures in order to suggest and give advice on possible improvements;
- coming up with possible ways to maximize profits for the company;
- liaising with Human Resources to recruit and train new staff members;
- working alongside Lawyers during corporate acquisitions and/or mergers;
- supporting treasury management and cash flow forecasting;
- preparing consolidated accounting closes throughout the year;
- assisting in tax compliance, transfer pricing analysis, cross-border tax items, and tax filings; and
- monitoring trends that may affect the company’s financial status and planning new strategies accordingly.
- Mediating between the company and its shareholders and other investors, always looking to benefit all parties involved.
- Overseeing the documentation of financial forecasts and status of the company:
- Drafting documents and legal reports to be submitted to any American regulatory institution that supervises all financial organizations and oversees a company’s financial operations;
- ensuring that all legal regulations are being followed; and
- analyzing and articulating business trends for stakeholders in order to get as many benefits and financial opportunities as possible.
- Advising colleagues and executives when making decisions involving the company’s finances.
- Analyzing financial data and presenting results in the form of reports.
- Ensuring all economic activities comply with the applicable regulations.
- Overseeing colleagues in charge of documenting reports.
- Finding ways to minimize expenses and losses.
- Researching and seizing opportunities for financial expansion.
- Providing advice and assistance in important financial plans and goals.
The average Financial Manager salary in USA is $72,734 per year or $37 per hour. This is around 2.5 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $51,000 while most experienced workers make up to $102,000. These results are based on 469 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Accounting, mathematical, and computer skills:
- Being proficient in complex mathematical calculations;
- possessing knowledge of business administration and all the procedures involved; and
- being proficient in database management, spreadsheets, and other computer software.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills:
- Effectively analyzing numerical data, drawing logical inferences, and providing reasonable recommendations;
- providing accurate and assertive recommendations to employers in manners of investment and financial planning;
- identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner; and
- being able to exercise strategical thinking and mature judgment.
- Interpersonal and communication skills:
- Communicating clearly, both in writing and verbally, to effectively explain complex financial terminologies and procedures, using non-technical language when necessary;
- acting with transparency, keeping executives informed about the decisions to be made and transactions to be executed; and
- establishing and maintaining supportive working relationships.
- Deadline-driven, reliable, flexible, self-motivated, and a true leader:
- Being able to lead and supervise a group of professionals; and
- being able to work independently and collaborate with a team.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Prioritizing and planning work activities in order to manage time efficiently while handling a high volume of work; and
- multitasking; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
- Strong attention to detail:
- Drafting reports in an assertive and detailed manner, always identifying and pointing out crucial facts.
Financial Managers require a lot of preparation and knowledge in order to reach that position. The most common way to begin this process is by obtaining a bachelor’s degree in any area related to Business Administration or Economics. The world of Finances is extremely dynamic and competitive; therefore, many employers now seek candidates with a wider curriculum. It is common to look for applicants with master’s degrees or even Ph.D.’s in related areas of Finance or Economy. Additionally, in order to promote workers’ professional growth, motivate, and encourage them to be better prepared, companies usually offer management programs. But as much as employers value academic achievement and prowess, they also take into account the experience of the candidate. Most Financial Manager positions require at least 5 years of previous experience in administrative and supervisory roles.
Even though additional certifications are not required to work in this area, they can prove an applicant’s abilities and skills and can help them get promoted. Therefore, Financial Managers can be certified as Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA) by The CFA Institute or receive the Certified Treasury Professional credential, issued by The Association for Financial Professionals. In both cases, applicants need to meet specific requirements established by both institutions.
In addition to the skills listed above, Financial Managers must possess excellent leadership skills; hence, being able to handle a group of several professionals, coordinating their activities, and motivating them towards reaching a set of goals would make for the perfect candidate. Their capacity to drive teams of professionals is crucial for the development and profiting of the company.
It is possible for Financial Managers to climb the career ladder into better positions by displaying high levels of resourcefulness, reliability, and commitment to the company. Becoming the Chief of Financial Operations (CFO) is the most common path after spending some years in the Financial Manager position. Other paths some Financial Managers may choose to follow include academic research and teaching or private consulting.