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How Do I Become a Small Business Financial Manager?

D. Nelson
D. Nelson

To become a small business financial manager, it can be helpful first to earn a degree in management, accounting, or finance. While in some contexts a bachelor's degree in one of these concentrations might be enough, a graduate degree can be essential in more competitive job markets. Once you earn your degree, you may want to take an entry level finance position in a small business. Keep in mind that small businesses often function differently from corporations, so you should make sure that you take a position in an organization that functions with a small staff and limited overhead costs.

A small business financial manager is a professional responsible for analyzing financial statements for a small organization. He or she normally makes decisions regarding an organization's plans for growth and investment. As a general rule, professionals in this field aim to help an organization operate cost efficiently while increasing profit margins. He or she also might be responsible for creating a master budget.

Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone
Businesswoman talking on a mobile phone

In most cases, no certifications or licenses are necessary to become a small business financial manager. In other words, there are no laws or regulations in place that require individuals to be certified prior to practicing finance. At the same time, most employers prefer to consider applicants who have proven proficiency in performing financial processes and who have a strong understanding of financial principles and terminology. A college program is also a great place to network with future colleagues, leads, and references.

While you are attending a college or graduate level program, you may want to apply for internship opportunities. By participating in an internship in college, you are taking an important step toward your goal to become a small business financial manager. These positions require individuals to perform managerial functions, which may require in depth knowledge of an industry. By beginning your real world experience while you are still in school, you can expedite this process.

An individual who would like to become a small business financial manager normally desires to be in a position where he or she can make major decisions regarding the overarching practices of an organization. In order to reach this level, you should have years of experience during which you can develop techniques for financial management and also develop knowledge of conventional practices and related laws and regulations. Positions such as managerial accountant and financial analyst can be good for an individual who strives to become a small business financial manager.

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