Pursue a Career as a Finance Manager

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pursue a Career as a Finance Manager

If you are good at numbers, and love to play with money, a career in Financial Management can be an imminent choice for you. All it requires is a decent education followed by relevant experience. Wondering how to get there? This post is for you.

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Finance is at the core of every business decision you take in life. Having clear budgetary planning is essential for meeting short-term, as well as long term career goals, further, a company must have the understanding of the financial implications of any decision they take to ensure long term success. Moreover, if you have a private, business concern, you must ensure that all financial decisions should comply with the local laws, and should be in line with the guidelines laid out by statutory controlling bodies. All these tasks are the responsibilities of the finance manager, also known as finance analyst or business analyst.   

Financial management deals with providing advice and support to the clients related to their financial planning using the available datapoints. This advice serves as the basis of critical business decisions and, therefore, room for error is miniscule. There is a saying that financial managers are good at money, after all they are in charge of overseeing the finances of multinational corporations, businesspersons of significant stature and other prominent individuals. 

Nature of the work

Financial managers work in teams. In coordination with their team members, Finance managers work to produce financial reports, profit projections, cash statements and a number of different analysis that lead to accurate decision making. Number-crunching and report creation are the order of the day in a finance manager’s life. Employed at virtually every organization, private or government, political or administrative, Finance managers execute strategies for effective capital management and administer different investment activities. The managers are also expected to develop and achieve long term business strategies and goals for the organization. 

In different companies, the role is known by different names and accordingly the responsibilities also vary here and there. For example, some companies have a treasurer or finance officer while others employ credit and cash manager. Some organizations hire controllers who oversee the audit, and accounting department. It is under their supervision that separate financial reports such as balance sheet, income statements and future expenses predictions are completed. A treasurer adds a little variation to this role by working to align the organization's budget with its financial and business goals.  

Since financial managers are required in all kinds of organizations, there are times when they perform company specific roles. For example, a financial manager in a hotel will have to have all information about the various expenses and means of earning of the hotel, and how it can be augmented keeping the future in mind. 

Training and Qualification

A career in finance is never completed without appropriate professional credentials which can be a bachelor’s degree or a diploma in finance, followed by a master’s degree.  With growing competition, most companies now only hire candidates who have advanced academic qualifications, which effectively means, that Master’s degree in finance is the most preferred learning qualification. Those finance managers who work in the accounting department needs to take additional training certificates such as CPA (Certified Public Accountant).  A degree in business administration, economics or accounting also serves as a good basis for making a career in this field. 

For higher positions, experience is a definite requirement. There are positions for which organizations prefer candidates who have climbed up the ladder through working their way in instead of hiring college grads. Advancements in the career can be achieved by pursuing certification courses such as CFA. The CFA institute offers Certified Financial Analyst title, which is highly revered in the corporate circles. 

Owing to the nature of their work, Finance managers need to have excellent maths skills, reasoning ability and communication skills.  In addition, they must have a sound understanding of all business concepts. 

Job prospects and employment prospects 

Jobs in finance can be found in any organization. Most popular work destinations for finance managers are banks, credit unions, wealth management firms, government institutions, finance companies, retail companies, and insurance providers. Employment opportunities are expected to increase in the next decade although one would have to face stiff competition to make his mark. The globalization in finance is going to work as a catalyst for further growth, expanding the employment base of finance managers. 

About the Author-

Saurabh Tyagi is a new media enthusiast with professional experience as a blogger. He keeps an eye on the current educational trends across various banking and finance colleges and universities in India.

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