Financial Managers

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ABOUT FINANCIAL MANAGER CAREERS
Video transcript

Financial managers follow the money. Their titles and responsibilities vary, but almost every business relies on them working alone or as part of a team to protect the company's bottom line. The skills involved in guiding the flow of money through a corporation are considered so vital to its success that these executive often attain the top ranks of company management.

A chief financial officer, or CFO, is usually a firm's top fiscal expert, formulating financial plans and policies and overseeing activities such as mergers and acquisitions, the preparation of reports and forecasts, and all financial and accounting functions. Other financial management titles include controllers, who oversee the preparation of financial reports and analyze future earnings and expenses.

Controllers might also direct accounting, audit, and budget departments. Treasurers and finance officers are responsible for a company's financial goals, objectives, and budgets. They might also supervise investments and cash management. Cash managers might fill that role in larger companies. Risk and insurance managers handle programs to help reduce the company's exposure to losses. Credit managers work to make sure the company extends credit wisely.

All these and other financial managers work together as a team in large corporations. In smaller companies, on or more individuals might cover all of these duties. A company of any size depends on the advice of financial managers when key decisions are made.

Most financial managers have earned advanced degrees and professional certifications, and continue their training on the job. All are comfortable with computers and the latest financial software. Different industries require additional expertise, whether it's understanding the expenses involved in running a sports franchise or medical costs in the health care field.

Multinational firms often require fluency in a foreign language. The hours can be long and some travel is standard. There can be a great deal of stress, even when the company is doing well. But along with financial rewards comes the satisfaction of contributing to a company's success.

SNAPSHOT

Plan, direct, or coordinate accounting, investing, banking, insurance, securities, and other financial activities of a branch, office, or department of an establishment.

Daily tasks

Recruit staff members.

Establish and maintain relationships with individual or business customers or provide assistance with problems these customers may encounter.

Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of workers in branches, offices, or departments of establishments, such as branch banks, brokerage firms, risk and insurance departments, or credit departments.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Coaching and Developing Others Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Economics and Accounting Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
TOP SKILLS
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.