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What is a Finance Manager?

A finance manager is a professional who oversees the financial health of an organization. They work with teams to create budgets, track expenses, and ensure the company is in good financial standing.

Finance managers may also be responsible for investing and managing money on behalf of their organization. They are responsible for ensuring the financial stability of their organization. As such, finance managers must have a strong understanding of financial concepts and accounting principles.

What Do People in Finance Manager Jobs Do?

Finance managers typically perform the following tasks.

  • Oversee financial planning
  • Track expenses and ensure that budgets stay on point
  • Issue stock and make decisions about investments
  • Oversee accounting and bookkeeping processes
  • Prepare reports on the company’s financial health
  • Liaise with bankers, auditors, and other professionals
  • Advise senior management on strategic decisions affecting the company’s financial position
  • Negotiate loans or credit agreements

On an average day, a financial manager may meet with other managers to discuss budget concerns, review financial reports, and analyze trends impacting the company’s bottom line.

Another day may include different tasks and duties, including meeting with clients, meeting with bankers and other lending institutions, or attending workshops to keep up-to-date on the latest financial developments.

In addition to overseeing the finances of an organization, people in finance manager jobs may also take part in mergers and acquisitions.

Where Do People in Finance Manager Jobs Work?

Finance manager jobs exist in a variety of industries, including banking, accounting, and insurance. Many finance managers work for large corporations or financial institutions. Others work for small businesses or non-profit organizations. Some finance managers are self-employed and provide consulting services to clients.

More specifically, finance managers will find employment in various settings, including the following.

Large corporations: Finance managers may work for large public companies or privately-held businesses. They may work in the corporate headquarters or regional offices.

Banks: Finance managers will often work for banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions. They may be responsible for managing the finances of the bank itself, or for advising clients on investment decisions.

Government agencies: Finance managers might work for local, state, or federal government agencies. Inside these organizations, they will often manage the finances of the agency or offer advice to government officials on financial decisions.

Overall, finance managers can find work in a variety of organizations.

  • Public accounting firms
  • Manufacturing firms
  • Investment banks
  • Insurance companies
  • Retailers
  • Commercial real estate firms
  • Enterprise software companies
  • Defense contractors

The typical work setting for finance managers is an office environment. However, they may also travel to meet with clients or to conduct due diligence investigations on potential investments.

What Degree is Required to Become a Finance Manager?

Most finance manager jobs require a bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, finance, or a related field. In addition, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) with a concentration in finance.

There are some exceptions to this rule. Some employers will hire finance managers with only a high school diploma if they have several years of related work experience. However, having a degree is still the best way to ensure that you have the skills and knowledge necessary for this career.

While not required, some finance manager jobs may require certification from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). To earn this certification, candidates must pass an exam that tests their knowledge of investment products, strategies, financial markets, and the regulations governing the securities industry.

How Much Money Does a Finance Manager Earn?

The median annual salary for finance managers is approximately $134,000. This means that half of all finance managers earned more than this amount and half earned less.

The lowest-paid 10% of finance managers earn less than $71,000, while the highest-paid 10% earn more than $208,000.

Here are the top industries related to annual pay for finance managers.

  • Government: $118,000
  • Insurance and finance: $131,000
  • Manufacturing: $136,000
  • Management of enterprises and companies: $149,000
  • Technical, scientific, and professional services: $155,000

Finance Manager Job Requirements

To become successful in this role, finance managers should have the following skills and qualities.

  • Analytical skills: Finance managers must be able to analyze financial data and identify trends. They use this information to make decisions about how to allocate resources and manage risks.
  • Communication skills: A finance manager needs to explain complex financial concepts to non-financial managers and other employees. They also need to negotiate with vendors and other external parties.
  • Interpersonal skills: Finance managers work collaboratively with other members of the management team. They also need skills required to build relationships with clients and business partners.
  • Leadership skills: People in this field must possess the ability to motivate and inspire others. They also need to make difficult decisions in a fast-paced environment.
  • Organizational skills: Finance managers must be able to manage multiple projects simultaneously. They must also meet deadlines and stay within budget.
  • Problem-solving skills: A finance manager needs to identify and solve problems quickly. They must think creatively to find new solutions to problems.
  • Technical skills: Finance managers must be proficient in the use of spreadsheet and financial analysis software.

Finance Manager Career Path

The job outlook for finance managers is positive. The employment of financial managers will grow 17% through 2030, faster than the average for all occupations. It’s estimated that more than 64,000 new financial management positions will open up each year going forward.

The growing complexity of financial regulations and the need for companies to improve their financial performance will continue to create demand for finance managers.

An expanding economy also plays into the projected growth. Specialties such as risk management and cash management will become more critical as companies demand these skills from their finance managers.

In addition, as organizations expand into new markets and offer new products and services, they will need finance managers to provide advice on the financial implications of these decisions.

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