A financial manager maintains the financial health of an organization and develops strategies and plans for long-term financial goals, produces financial reports, and directs investment activities. There are various types of financial managers such as insurance managers, cash managers, chief financial officers (CFOs), treasure and finance officers, controllers, credit managers, and risk managers.
Watch a video to learn what a financial manager does.
How to Become a Financial Manager
Financial managers usually require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, economics, or accounting. Recently, more employers desire a candidate to have a master’s degree in economics, administration, or finance. These programs develop a students analytical skills and teach them financial analysis methods and software.
Financial managers often have 5 or more years experience in another financial or business occupation. Although certification is not mandatory it may be advantageous for you to obtain one to demonstrate your level of competence such as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification or the Certified Treasury Professional credential.
Job Description of a Financial Manager
A financial manager has to prepare forecasts, financial statements, business activity reports, and maintain the financial health of an organization. They oversee financial details to ensure that all legal requirements are met and supervise other employees who do financial budgeting and reporting. They also review company financial reports and find ways to reduce costs. They analyze market trends to maximize profits, perform data analysis, and advise senior management on profit-maximizing ideas.
A financial manager must perform tasks specific to their industry or organization. For example, government financial managers must be experts on government appropriations and budgeting processes. Healthcare financial managers need to be knowledgable in healthcare finance. All financial managers must be skilled in the tax laws and regulations of their industry.
Financial Manager Career Video Transcript
How do businesses steer clear of major risks, and stay on the upside of profit? You’d have to ask a financial manager! They keep a constant eye on operational costs, and evaluate the financial strengths and weaknesses of a company’s interests. Most financial managers work at a high level, advising top executives in an organization on broad decisions for its future. Being well-versed in legal requirements and current market trends gives them insight into how their organization can expand and acquire new assets, and where they could cut costs.
Minimizing loss and damages is a major focus in this role, so they must understand what factors pose a risk to their organization’s success, and track them carefully. These managers review a lot of data and many reports, and use that information to propose new strategies to leaders. At the same time, like other managers, they hire and supervise employees. Financial managers usually have a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, or economics. Increasingly, employers choose candidates with a master’s degree or higher. Overseeing the finances of an organization is a challenging job, but financial managers make it all add up.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Financial Managers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 11-3031.00. O*NET OnLine.
The video is Public Domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.