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What is a Finance Manager?

By Steve R.
Updated May 17, 2024
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A finance manager is a professional who supervises the preparation of an organization's financial reports as required by law and approved by the organization's board of directors. The finance manager also creates financial strategies to meet the needs of the organization's short- and long-term goals. Responsibilities also include evaluating data to appraise the current and future financial condition of the organization, and supervising investment activities.

This type of financial expert may work in a variety of settings, including banks, finance companies, automobile dealerships, brokerage firms, insurance departments, and credit departments. In most cases, a master’s degree in finance, economics, or business administration is required for employment as a finance manager. If the manager works in the area of accounting, he generally will need to be a certified public accountant.

Duties of a finance manager may vary, depending on the organization he works for. Most managers will scrutinize over data to classify risks and investments to establish their potential effects on agencies. Also, a finance manager will assess collection reports to find out the standing of accounts in collections and the totals of outstanding balances. The finance manager often is responsible for communicating with shareholders or other stakeholders, and providing necessary financial data.

Typically, a finance manager spends the majority of his time in an office and will work more than 40 hours per week. In some cases, travel may be involved with the job, as the manager may need to visit other agencies or attend professional development meetings. The financial professional may also be known as a controller or cash manager, and may perform duties and specific tasks related to the nature of his organization. He is required to be well versed about tax laws and regulations regarding his particular industry. Sometimes, financial managers are outsourced or hired on a temporary basis to provide financial expertise for smaller organizations.

Finance managers must posses a comprehensive understanding of economics and accounting principles and techniques, as well of financial markets and banking. They must be able to use financial analysis systems and the associated technology, and have a mastery of how to detail financial information. As the business of finances continually changes, the professional needs to stay abreast of new regulations and financial tools.

Individuals employed as finance mangers may advance in their careers by obtaining certifications through professional associations. The Chartered Financial Analyst certificate is presented to a professional who successfully completes three tests, has a bachelor’s degree, and meets certain work criteria. Other certificates are awarded by the Association for Financial Professionals and the Institute of Management Accountants, among other organizations.

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Discussion Comments

By Telsyst — On Feb 11, 2014

Finance managers are well paid for their long hours, with the average salary for this position coming in at around $150,000 per year.

Also, with the required advanced degrees and certification in finance, management and economics, finance managers are often prime candidates for advancement to positions like chief financial officer, one of the top executive positions in most companies.

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