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What Do Financial Managers Do?

Job Descriptions September 24, 2013

Financial managers are the employees in charge of handling money in an organization, whether it is a large corporation or a simple one-location store. The financial manager reports to the owner or the board of directors in the corporate environment.

This means that once you land a job, you will probably have control over decisions that relate to payroll, income, expenses, investments and acquisitions. Of course, it is essential to remember that when you work with a company, you have to involve the entire group, which might include members of the management team.

Duties in Financial Management

Your actual list of duties may depend on the needs of the owners as well as how the company is organized. For example, you may have to deal with day to day routines, uncertainties in the economy, the stock market, legal issues or non-profit ventures. You will most likely be overseeing others, and monitoring all aspects of a company’s finances.

This will give you authority over others, though most of your time will actually be spent delivering statements and reports. This involves creating customized reports for those on the inside as well as the outside of management; in some cases, third parties interested in the company. Corporate finance involves further assignments such as taking care of cost reduction, and evaluating acquisition opportunities.

Depending on whether you work in the private or public sector, you may have different responsibilities such as in retail, dealing with charities, universities, manufacturers and trusts, but ultimately your job is to deliver financial advice to clients and that seldom changes. In order to do this, you will have to learn budgetary planning, both for the long-term and short-term, as well as some training in legality and regulations.

Companies will trust you with monitoring cash flow and projecting the income several months down the road. You must analyze change, develop strategies, report on what is happening locally, nationally and worldwide in your industry, and even analyze the competition. Company owners put you in charge of minimizing risk, which means you must compile a complete financial picture based on many details and records.

Additional Skills Required

You will also have to talk to auditors to ensure proper monitoring, oversee relationships with bankers and business organizations, and get all work done on time. As if this responsibility isn’t enough, you must ensure your company’s activities fall within legal and ethical requirements. Otherwise, you could be held responsible for costly mistakes, and maybe even the unethical requirements of your clients.

If you’re interested in breaking into the career of financial management, then consider taking college courses in math, economy, finance, and other related subjects. A bachelor’s degree might be enough to start you on the path, but certification will certainly go a long way in impressing a larger company.

Certification from the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute might be a good start, although every company will have different criteria in choosing applicants. Overall, this is a career for the adventurous, and for those who aren’t afraid of taking on huge responsibilities for the betterment of a team and the local economy.

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