Finance leaders are high level managers who specialize in analyzing financial data for an organization and making decisions that enable an organization to increase profit margins, manage costs, and make fruitful investments while managing risk. People who become financial leaders tend to possess undergraduate and graduate degrees in fields such as finance, accounting, and economics, and years upon years of experience working in finance or accounting departments, often within specific industries. These professionals also tend to be great leaders who understand how to delegate tasks and to communicate principles that illustrate an organization's overall image and goals.
In most cases, a finance leader has a team of researchers and analysts who provide him or her with data that he or she can use to make decisions regarding the path his or her business should take. A finance leader also might meet with leaders from other departments in an organization, communicate with shareholders and priority clients, and perform high level employment management activities, such as recruiting and assigning projects. These activities require diverse business and interpersonal skills.
It usually is the case that a financial leader meets with executives and high level managers to discuss issues and opportunities that are relevant to an organization. If a finance leader is not at the executive level, then he or she might take orders from a financial executive who explains which initiatives an organization might pursue and how a finance department can prepare for these projects. In all cases, it is common for a finance leader to have a team of researchers and analysts whom he or she can depend on to provide him or her with accurate and current information and in some cases to provide analyses of an organization's current financial status.
Once a financial leader has learned about the status of his or her organization in a context relevant to a particular issue or opportunity for growth, he or she might next perform risk management. Risk management is the act of determining where an organization is most vulnerable and how an organization can prepare for worst possible scenarios. It is common for a finance leader to work along side risk management specialists to determine these factors.
In most cases, a finance leader must always meet with other department leads or executives to discuss issues. For many finance leaders, it also is essential to discuss initiatives with shareholders and primary clients who might have much invested in a company's success. A person who acts as a finance leader might spend much time in meetings and giving presentations describing sometimes complex financial principles and strategies.