There are several types of finance director jobs. All require a degree in finance as a prerequisite. The exact nature of the work will depend on what kind of finance degree the candidate has, his or her specific interests, and any practical work experiences they may have in a particular field. Finance director jobs can be broken down by the type of employer. These may include for-profit business, non-profits, and government.
A finance director's job description will often include many technical responsibilities. Overseeing the budgeting process is a major component of the job. Making sure actual expenses and revenues stay on target with that budget is another main duty. Some finance directors will also oversee investor relations for a company. Others may work quietly behind the scenes, and let someone else handle any public relations duties. Some of these jobs may also fall under the title of comptroller.
As with any job, a director of finance job often involves working in a department under someone else before enough experience has been gained to take on a leadership position. Thus, those wanting to get into such positions must often work their way up through the ranks of an accounting department, or another area involving financial management. With this being said, there may be some smaller companies, or smaller governmental bodies, that will fill a finance director job with a college graduate holding a degree in another appropriate subject area.
The most common finance director jobs are those involving for-profit companies. Depending on the company, these jobs can be highly competitive. Many are often filled from within the ranks, rewarding those who are willing to be patient and work their way up through the ranks in the company. This may mean that an ambitious individual will have to wait a long time to become a finance director. Therefore, those who find themselves in this situation, but without the patience, may need to eventually seek out other companies in order to advance into finance director jobs.
Governments, such as cities, counties and school boards, also tend to hire for many finance director jobs. Often, those who get into this line of work will have a specialized degree in government finance. This is because the revenue side and expense side are so much different than in private companies. There are many rules and regulations that apply specifically to local governments, meaning that the finance director is required to have a very extensive knowledge of these rules and regulations.
Non-profit organizations will also offer finance director jobs from time to time. Though some of these entities are small, and therefore may depend on one CEO or manager to act as the finance director as well. Again, there are specialized rules and regulations regarding non-profits that are different than for-profit companies. These regulations must be strictly adhered to in order to maintain a non-profit status.