To thrive in a competitive environment, businesses worldwide depend on the expertise of finance managers. By directing investment activities, overseeing cash management and establishing standards and procedures, these professionals help organizations meet their fiscal goals. A challenging and rewarding finance manager career can begin with enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Finance.

Finance Manager Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment for financial managers will grow steadily in coming years. Regulatory changes and an increase in business start-ups will drive demand for skilled finance professionals. Those with a master’s degree and certification should have the best prospects.

Job Duties

Finance managers are found in nearly every public organization, government agency and private firm. They typically oversee activities such as developing strategies and long-range plans, directing investments, preparing financial reports and developing financial procedures, according to organizational objectives.

Directing the budget process for an organization is an important aspect of the finance manager’s job. After forecasting revenue and expenditures, they interface with department heads to determine needs and allocate resources. Monitoring financial reports to guard against losses is another key activity; technological advances allow finance managers to perform more data analysis and produce more accurate reports and projections.

Providing consulting services to upper management and other stakeholders is an additional duty of the finance manager. In this role, they often provide analysis and support for new methods for improvement, help design appropriate projects and implement new procedures.

The finance manager is also typically responsible for overseeing a firm’s investment activities, using established guidelines, procedures and policies, and developing new guidelines as needs change. Managing risk, supervising cash management and raising needed capital are additional examples of activities undertaken by finance managers. They may also be involved with mergers and acquisitions.

Another way finance managers contribute to an organization’s bottom line is by staying on top of industry-related regulatory changes, tax requirements and economic news. They are often experts in a particular area, such as healthcare, government, manufacturing or mergers and acquisitions.

Working in comfortable office environments, finance managers typically put in a 40-hour week, but longer hours could be required. Travel to satellite offices or subsidiary firms may be required.

Finance Manager Potential Salary

BLS data for May 2009 indicate the average annual salary for financial managers was $113,730, while the middle 50% earned between $73,530 and $138,010. The lowest 10% earned approximately $54,760, while those in the highest 10% bracket brought in around $166,400 annually. Higher salaries are generally earned by those with experience and advanced education.

Education and Training Requirements

For most finance manager positions, a bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, business administration or another related field is the minimum requirement. Many employers prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree. In addition, some positions require the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation.

Business professionals who wish to advance to a finance manager position can boost their opportunities by enrolling in an MBA program with a specialization in Finance. Coursework typically includes organizational behavior, financial markets and institutions, investment management and portfolio analysis.

Employers can be confident that professionals who have earned an MBA with a specialization in Finance are able to:

  • Buy and sell securities.
  • Analyze interest rates and how they are determined.
  • Develop successful investment policies for a variety of organizations.
  • Compare and evaluate portfolio performance.
  • Leverage advanced knowledge and skills to succeed as a finance manager.

Becoming a Successful Finance Manager is Within Your Reach

If you possess attributes such as sharp business skills, excellent interpersonal skills and strong communication skills, along with a knack for financial data, you could thrive as a finance manager. Enhancing your skills by earning an MBA with a specialization in Finance can be the winning combination that launches your finance manager career.

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