Are you considering a career as a financial manager? If so, you should probably know what a financial manager does. There are many responsibilities for this position and plenty of job duties.
Before you enter any career, it’s best to understand what your day-to-day job will look like. As a financial manager, you will work in finance, but what does a financial manager do? Let’s look at the job duties for this career and how you can become a financial manager.
Job Duties of a Financial Manager
As a financial manager, you will have many specific goals. These will include maximizing profit and current value, along with maintaining growth and minimizing costs. Your job duties will help you to achieve these goals for your company.
Some of the most common job duties of a financial manager include:
- Maintaining cash flow
- Reviewing banking activity
- Reconciling monthly reports
- Interpreting financial models
- Managing the budget for your company to ensure maximum revenue
- Identifying areas for cost-cutting
- Promoting improvements in specific areas of the budget
- Implementing productivity reports and quality standards
Your job will mainly have to do with making sure the company remains financially responsible.
One of the biggest parts of your job will be tracking the money. This will include reviewing bank statements, managing the credit for your company, and assessing the financial performance of your company. You will also manage the documents related to the budget.
In most cases, it will be your job to establish compliance for your company, too. You will help manage the payroll, file taxes, and maintain compliance with industry-specific regulations and public reporting regulations.
How to Become a Financial Manager in 4 Steps
Step #1 – Complete High School
Before you can start your journey towards becoming a financial manager, you need to complete high school. If you want to have a better chance at landing a great job in finance, you want to do well in high school. A good GPA, along with high SAT or ACT scores can help you get into a better college. The right test prep course can help you score higher on the SAT or the ACT.
With a strong high school GPA and the right test scores, you can enter into a top college program. It can also help to take honors or AP math courses and other courses.
Step #2 – Get Your College Degree
A bachelor’s degree in finance or accounting is the preferred option for a financial manager. You will need to finish high school and get into a good college to get your bachelor’s degree. If you want to make your chances of becoming a financial manager better, you should get an MBA, after getting your bachelor’s degree. This can help you advance in your career much faster.
Step #3 – Gain Experience
Any type of financial experience is very helpful. If you want to become a financial manager, internships are a great option to help you gain experience. You can also work in an entry-level position to gain experience. Some smaller organizations may not require the same level of experience as a larger company.
Step #4 – Become Certified
There are a few certifications you can gain to help advance your career. While they are not required, certifications help build your resume and show proficiency with complex financial tasks. There are three certifications you might want to consider, which include:
- Certified Public Accountant – This certification can make you very valuable as a financial manager. You will need to meet the educational requirements and pass the CPA exam to become a Certified Public Accountant.
- Chartered Financial Analyst – This certification shows you are competent as a financial analyst. You will need to get a bachelor’s degree and have four years of experience to qualify for the CFA. It will also require you to pass three levels of the exam, which will cover many areas. Most candidates spend at least 300 hours studying for each of the exams.
- Certified Treasury Professional – You will need two years of professional experience to get this certification. It comes from the Association of Financial Professionals and requires you to pass an exam.
These certifications can help you advance your career and become a financial manager faster.
Step #5 – Complete the Correct Training
As you work through entry-level and associate-level positions, you will need to complete the necessary training. Every industry and employer will be a bit different. Training may vary from one position to another, as well.
Necessary Skills for Financial Managers
If you want to become a financial manager, you will want to develop the right skills. Some of the most common skills you will need include:
- Math skills – You will need to have good math skills, along with the ability to use numerical information. An in-depth understanding of financial documents is also necessary. Of course, these skills can be gained through education and training.
- Communication skills – Developing good verbal and written communication skills is vital for this job. You will need to be able to explain simple and complex financial transactions in a way that can be understood by those you are working with. Typically, you will communicate with employers and management verbally and through email.
- Organizational skills – Financial managers have to be very organized. you have to use your energy and time very well in this position.
- Analytical skills – You will need to be able to solve problems and analyze information regularly. Without the ability to do this, you will likely not last as a financial manager.
- Attention to detail – Since you will be working with the budget for your employer, you will need to have great attention to detail. This helps to eliminate mistakes.
These skills, along with others, are very important if you want to be successful as a financial manager.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Financial Manager
How much can I make as a financial manager?
According to Indeed.com, you will likely earn a salary close to $16K per year as a financial manager. This is a higher-than-average salary making this a high-paying career option. Top employers may even pay more than $140K per year for a financial manager.
Your location will help to determine your salary, too. San Francisco is the highest-paying location, followed by Burlington, New York City, and Dallas. All of these locations pay higher than the national average for a financial manager.
What type of benefits will I get as a financial manager?
When you go into a career as a financial manager, your employer will likely offer you a benefits package. This package may include health insurance, paid time off, commuter assistance, stock options, vision insurance, dependent health insurance coverage, and a 401(k) with matching. Sometimes, the package will also include a gym membership or even free food.
It’s also possible, as a financial manager, you might get the benefit of working from home. This is a more common benefit in today’s world.
What is the work environment like for a financial manager?
You will likely work in an office with a desk and a computer. It’s common to work with others in the same office, especially if you work for a larger company. During the workday, you will likely use computers, printers, and other office equipment.
What type of hours do financial managers work?
You will likely work full-time. Regular 9-to-5 business hours are common and working Monday through Friday is also common. However, there may be times when you have to work overtime or even on weekends.
What type of jobs will I likely work before becoming a financial manager?
Since the position of a financial manager isn’t an entry-level career, you will likely work in another position first. You might work as a treasurer or credit manager before becoming a financial manager. It’s also common to work as a controller, cash manager, or a risk manager.
Once you have gained experience in an entry-level position, you can work your way up to financial manager. From there, you might even go as far as becoming the chief financial officer for your company.
These types of positions may have some similar job duties as a financial manager but at a lower level. For example, a controller will help to prepare financial reports and a cash manager will help to regulate and monitor cash flow. You can gain some valuable experience and skills while working in one of these entry-level or associate-level positions.
What is the outlook for financial manager jobs?
This type of job is expected to grow by about 15% through the next decade. This is more than triple the average of all careers, which makes it a fast-growing career option.
Becoming a financial manager offers plenty of benefits. When you understand what a financial manager does, you can better decide if this is the right career path for you. If you’re looking for a high-paying career you can enjoy, consider becoming a financial manager using the steps above.