What is a Financial Manager?

Anyone looking for a mid- to upper-level business job in the financial services market should consider becoming a financial manager. Like their title suggests, financial managers are given the responsibility of developing effective strategies that maintain their organization’s fiscal growth. Depending on their interests, financial managers can specialize in controllership, credit management, risk management, cash flow, investment banking, and more. Since the U.S. is a major international finance hub, demand in financial management should be favorable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the employment of financial managers to grow by seven percent, thus sparking around 37,700 more jobs. Competition for these coveted, lucrative jobs is often heated though. Determine whether becoming a financial manager is right for you with the brief following job profile.

What Financial Managers Do

Financial managers are tasked with analyzing business activity to prepare accurate financial statements and forecasts about the company’s monetary health. They’ll carefully watch the economic market to make suggestions that maximize profits, lower risk, and expand current operations. Keeping the organization in compliance with federal financial regulations is up to the financial managers. Most financial managers are supervisors who oversee financial, budget, credit, and risk analysts. Some have risen to become the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and advise the executive team on smart financial decisions. Although the duties can vary, all financial managers share the mission of directing and monitoring organizational funding.

Where Financial Managers Work

The United States currently employs around 555,900 financial managers in diverse industries and workplaces. The majority (29 percent) work for financial institutions, insurance carriers, banks, and credit card companies. Other financial managers are employed by manufacturing firms, government agencies, private corporations, professional services, and nonprofit organizations. A few work for securities and commodity brokerages to manage the stock market investments. Financial managers can also work directly for artists, athletes, and entertainers. Most financial managers work full-time in a comfortable office setting. Around one-third reports working longer than the traditional 40-hour week. Travel is sometimes necessary when working as consultants or for international businesses.

How to Become a Financial Manager

Becoming a financial manager requires earning at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited business school. Most financial managers are educated in finance, accounting, statistics, economics, or business administration. Attending a top-tier school with accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is preferred. Many employers look for financial managers holding a Master of Finance or MBA in Finance. Aspiring managers typically need at least five years of full-time work experience before promotion. You could start your career as an accountant, analyst, sales agent, or loan officer. Corporate management training programs can help. It’s also advised that financial managers become certified with the prestigious Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential, according to the CFA Institute.

Related Resource: 5 Innovative MBA Degree Specializations

Overall, financial managers are skillful, experienced business experts who conduct in-depth data analysis to watch corporate income and expenditures. They play a pivotal role in helping companies accomplish their long-term financial goals with smart spending. In exchange, financial managers are rewarded with an average six-figure yearly salary of $130,230, or $62.61 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those claiming the CFO title can make upwards of $3 million each year. Becoming a financial manager is a profitable path for individuals with excellent analytical, mathematical, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills.