Director of Finance Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

TA Director of Finance, or Finance Director, oversees all company financial activities to ensure it stays in strong financial standing. Their main duties include building revenue reports, distributing calculated funds to various departments and implementing company financial policies.

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Director of Finance duties and responsibilities

A Director of Finance makes high-level decisions regarding a business’s health, leaving details for the finance and accounting departments. Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Make sound investment decisions to increase a company’s portfolio
  • Prepare and outline complex models into simple terms that others can work with
  • Monitor the performance of investments including creating reports using business software
  • Analyze trends to reduce financial risks associated with making investment or spending decisions
  • Have a strong understanding of fiscal policy and investment regulations
  • Create usable budgets for the business, including evaluating the needs of each department in the long term
  • Offer advice to the CFO and CEO regarding spending and budget questions
  • Hire and oversee leaders in the finance and accounting departments, including giving directions and delivering periodical evaluations
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What does a Director of Finance do?

Directors of Finance work on a company’s executive team to build and deliver financial policies and strategies that improve the business’ financial status. They oversee all the financial operations within each department to ensure they’re spending within the budget and following the financial policies laid out by the Director of Finance. Directors of Finance analyze the financial performance of the company and build reports for the executive team to review and provide feedback. 

They also research and review the company’s statistics to make forecasts and projections that help them build more comprehensive budgets. Directors of Finance develop strategies to assess, manage and minimize any potential financial risks.

Director of Finance skills and qualifications

A Director of Finance is an executive role, meaning candidates should have extensive skills and qualifications. Here are some qualities they should possess: 

  • Excellent mathematical and analysis skills
  • Ability to lead departments and individuals
  • Verbal and written communication skills to create reports and present them to others
  • Knowledge of analysis and financial software
  • Strong creative skills to develop new and innovative solutions
  • Ability to create and deliver unbiased budget expectations for different departments

Director of Finance salary expectations

A Director of Finance makes an average of $108,499 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.

Director of Finance education and training requirements

A Director of Finance usually has a Master of Business Administration or a master’s degree in finance. Some Financial Directors may have a bachelor’s degree with extensive training and a proven track record of success in finance or business. A Director of Finance usually earns training through education and on-the-job experience. They begin in positions in finance or business, such as financial analysis, financial advising or business analysis. Though not required, a Director of Finance could have certain financial certifications, like Financial Risk Manager or Chartered Financial Analyst. 

Director of Finance experience requirements

A Director of Finance should have at least five years of experience, though eight to 10 years is a more common requirement. They should have experience in finance and business. Leadership experience is also valuable. Many Financial Directors have experience as financial analysts or business analysts before moving into managerial positions in the same field. 

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Frequently asked questions about Directors of Finance

 

What's the difference between a Director of Finance and a Chief Financial Officer?

Though both the Director of Finance and the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) oversee the financial operations of the company, their responsibilities vary. The Director of Finance essentially reports to the CFO to ensure the company’s departmental budgets and other financial assets are in great standing. They often handle daily financial operations, while the CFO works on high-level financial projects like researching economic trends and planning company investments. 

 

What makes a good Director of Finance?

A great Director of Fiance should be skilled at and well-versed in financial subjects and building budgets for companies, so experience working in accounting-related fields is often preferred. Directors of Finance are often making decisions that impact the company’s financial standings, so they should have strong strategic and critical thinking abilities. Since they’re regularly working with numbers and adding up finances and budgets for the company, strong mathematical skills and experience are beneficial for candidates to have as well. They should also possess great analytical abilities, since they regularly work with data and statistics to develop effective financial strategies. 

 

Who reports to the Director of Finance?

The Financial Manager usually reports to the Director of Finance. Sometimes the Accounting Manager may report to them, depending on the company. Financial or Accounting Managers are usually in charge of the accounting or finance team and works with the Director of Finance to develop strategies and policies for the financial teams to follow. 

If the Finance Manager is having any issues with their employees or work tasks, they may come to the Director of Finance for guidance and advice. The Director of Finance usually holds meetings with the executive teams and relays any important information announced at the meetings to the Finance or Accounting Manager, who then provides these details to their team. 

 

Do Directors of Finance have different responsibilities in different industries?

Directors of Finance usually hold similar responsibilities in any industry they work in. Many of them work in the business industry, conducting their work in an office environment, helping departments maintain budgets that help them operate efficiently in a business-to-business sales setting, while still maintaining a strong profit. Some may operate in a larger medical facility, working with the Chief Medical Officer to build effective budgets for the hospital. Others work for government entities as a City Financial Director overseeing expenses and city program funding for community members.

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