Financial Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Financial Manager, or Finance Manager, builds financial strategies and reports to help companies improve their financial health and meet their long-term goals. Their main duties include preparing an organizations’ activity reports, creating financial forecasts and brainstorming ways to maintain or reduce company costs.

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Financial Manager duties and responsibilities

Financial Managers have a wide range of duties and responsibilities that are generally executed at an executive level. Their duties can be industry-specific and are often changing to suit the financial and technological climate. Their duties and responsibilities can include:

  • Preparing financial reports and producing activity statements and monitor accounts
  • Providing advice on company financial and investment decisions
  • Analyzing company data and market trends to make financial predictions and maximize profits
  • Managing company budgets
  • Producing long term business plans based on company data
  • Implementing reporting processes to minimize financial risk
  • Ensuring all investment and financial activities are compliant with industry laws

What does a Financial Manager do?

A Financial Manager work closely with a business’ management and executive team creating financial plans to help the organization stay financially stable and make wise investments. They analyze current trends in the market and potential financial opportunities to determine if certain investments or financial decisions are in the best interest of the company. 

Financial Managers are also responsible for researching their company’s financial legal requirements and ensuring the organization remains compliant. They constantly monitor the company’s financial reports to determine different ways to maintain or reduce company costs.

Financial Manager skills and qualifications

A successful candidate for a Financial Manager role will likely hold several prerequisite skills and qualifications required to carry out their duties. As this is generally an executive-level role, most candidates will hold bachelor’s degrees in a related field along with several years of experience in the industry:

  • Demonstrated strategic planning experience at a management level
  • Experience in managing budgets and forecasting
  • Experience in providing data analysis and producing reports
  • High-level experience with financial and/or accounting software
  • Industry-specific qualifications as required
  • Strong communication and presentation skills
  • In some cases, Financial Managers will hold a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification.

Financial Manager salary expectations

A Financial Manager makes an average of $72,243 per year. Salary may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Financial Manager education and training requirements

Financial Managers typically hold a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as finance, economics or accounting. In some cases, a master’s degree in finance, economics or business administration can be advantageous. Similarly, some Financial Managers also hold a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualification although it is often not required. Further training and industry certifications may be required depending on the industry.

Financial Manager experience requirements

Financial Managers typically have a minimum of five years’ experience within a relevant field such as accounting, financial services, banking or compliance. Financial Managers often work within banks, investment and insurance companies. However, they can also find employment within other industries such as healthcare and education. On the job experience with data analysis, reporting, and developing financial strategies will position candidates in an ideal space to move into a Financial Manager role. Example jobs that can lead into Financial Manager roles can include Finance Manager, Finance Analyst and Business Analyst.

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Frequently asked questions about Financial Managers

 

What makes a good Financial Manager?

An effective Financial Manager is passionate about numbers and market trends, as they should be enthusiastic about staying up to date on the economy to help them make logical and beneficial financial decisions for the company. They should also have effective analytical skills to help them properly interpret a company’s data and statistics to make accurate financial projections. 

It’s valuable for a Financial Manager candidate to have great presentation skills, as they must collect and present data in a visually appealing manner to leadership teams and convince these executives to follow the strategy they’ve laid out. 

 

Who reports to a Financial Manager?

Since a Financial Manager serves in an upper-management level on a company’s financial team, typically the finance and sometimes accounting department reports to them with any questions or concerns about their role or job responsibilities. The people who report to a Financial Manager may also vary depending on the size and type of company the Financial Manager works for. 

If they work for a smaller team, they may just have a single Financial Coordinator reporting to and working directly under them. In larger workplaces, finance team members usually come to Financial Managers for advice if they’ve approached a complex financial issue and need guidance on how to resolve it.

 

What's the difference between a Financial Manager and a Financial Consultant?

Though they both work closely with a company’s leadership teams to establish a financial strategy for the organization, a Financial Manager and a Financial Consultant hold fairly different titles. Though they may sometimes work in an office, Financial Consultants often work independently, traveling to different companies building their financial budgets and plans to help them remain financially stable. 

Financial Managers also create strategies to help an organization financially thrive, but they often work primarily for one company and serve on the leadership team. 

 

Do Financial Managers have different responsibilities in different industries?

Most Financial Managers have similar responsibilities of maintaining an organization’s budget. They may work in a hotel, making sure rates and items are priced properly to ensure the hotel is making a large enough income to remain successful. 

Others may work in a larger corporate office, managing the expenses of different departments and making sure the company makes smart and cost-effective financial decisions to keep them stable. Some work at banks, creating forecasts and financial statements to keep the business’ finances managed and organized.

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