Financial management is the practice of organizing and analyzing data related to factors such as cash flow, investments, and long term financial strategies. Professionals in this field tend to have strong backgrounds in finance, economics, or accounting. They also are comfortable learning new software that enables them to more efficiently and accurately record and analyze financial processes and indicators. These positions are found in nearly every organization that has need for financial planning. Some of the most common financial management careers include financial officer, controller, and cash manager.
In most cases, a financial officer is an executive who is responsible for overseeing all of an organization's finances. This kind of professional develops plans for generating capital that can allow an organization to grow. He or she also might manage investment strategies by determining risk factors associated with different financial instruments. In general, these types of financial management careers require professionals who have years of experience in management positions and who are able to manage a company's long term growth.
Another of the common financial management careers is controller. This kind of professional often is responsible for making sure that an organization's financial activities are in compliance with regulations. He or she might oversee statements prepared by managerial and financial accounting departments. In most cases, a controller is responsible for supervising functions such as audits and budgeting.
Individuals seeking financial management careers also may choose cash manager positions. Professionals in this field oversee an organization's cash flow. They calculate how much cash a business needs to complete projects and may determine whether a business needs to take out loans in order to meet production goals. A cash manager also may decide how to spend surplus cash. For this reason, he or she can meet with a financial officer to discuss strategies for investment.
Financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies offer a number of opportunities for financial management careers. These positions often require increased levels of specialization. For example, a financial manager in the insurance industry should be familiar with health care practices and costs. Banks hire teams of financial managers, each of whom may focus on a certain kind of investment, such as mortgages or stocks.
Professionals who act as financial managers for governments are required to be familiar with related budgetary constraints. Whereas financial managers in the private sector want to generate the highest profits, government financial managers must understand which resources are required by agencies and branches to function. Issues such as risk and investment strategy normally are not considered by financial managers in the public sector.