Is the next step in your career becoming a Financial Manager or is it a long-term goal of yours? This highly sought-after role means you will be in charge of controlling the financial matters of the entire company. Here is all you need to know.
The job description of a Financial Manager is wide and can vary from company to company, depending on its size. In larger companies, you might have an entire team to assist with many of the functions. In a smaller company, you may have to take on many of the roles yourself.
Financial Manager duties can include:
- Creating budgets and evaluating performance against them
- Producing regular reports on financial issues and presenting them to senior executives
- Coming up with strategies for long-term financial success for the company, including reducing costs
- Submitting tax returns
- Recording, analysing and interpreting all financial information
- Recommending the best investment opportunities for the company’s assets
- Overseeing a team
- Analysing market trends
Are you up to the job?
There are some key skills every Financial Manager should possess. These include:
Strong leadership skills. This is a senior management position, so you have to exhibit leadership of the highest quality. The team around you need to know they are working with someone they trust, and who has the insight to take the company to new heights.
Excellent analytical ability. The assessing of information and solving of problems is a major part of any Financial Manager’s responsibilities. You need to see beyond the numbers and understand their impact on the company’s future.
A flair for communication. You’ll possibly be working with large teams, so the ability to get your point of view across clearly and succinctly is vital.
Creative thinking and good problem-solving skills. You need to be able to come up with solutions, guidance and long-term financial strategies.
What qualifications and experience does a Financial Manager need?
Most people will have had at least five years’ experience in a financial role before being considered for a financial manager position. This could include starting off as an Accountant and then progressing to Assistant to the Financial Manager, before taking on the role itself. You should have a financial degree, such as a BComm Accounting or a BComm Financial Management. If you want to take it further, doing your SAICA articles and becoming a CA(SA) will assist your career growth.
Where to next?
Once you have successfully spent time as a Financial Manager (usually between five to seven years) your next career progression would usually be to Head of Finance, Financial Director or Chief Financial Officer.
What’s to love about a financial management jobs?
According to Alan Dixon of Signature Flight Support, he became a Financial Manager because he’s always enjoyed working with numbers and the role gives him the feeling of adding value to the business. “Seeing the results of your input to the company’s success is extremely satisfying,” he says. What he enjoys most is helping and assisting a business to navigate to where it needs to be and being a key element regarding the provision of information and strategic guidance.