Financial managers supervise the drafting of financial records, the implementation of cash management strategies, and the investment of financial resources that are performed by an organization’s financial workers. They develop a company’s long-term strategies and goals. Their duties are dictated by their specific job title. Controllers draft financial summary and forecasting reports; treasurers and finance officers oversee goals, objectives, and budgets, as well as manage investments, mergers, and acquisitions; credit managers direct a company’s credit issuance; cash managers make decisions regarding the flow of cash receipts and disbursements; and risk and insurance managers attempt to minimize financial losses and risks to the company.
Many skills are required for financial management positions. A broad knowledge of business management is essential, along with highly-developed communication skills, as they are constantly required to translate complex financial information into accessible terms. Because of the large number of hours spent managing other people, interpersonal skills are a prerequisite. Financial managers must be literate in the latest computer technology. They must possess knowledge of international finance, be creative and able to problem-solve, and often be fluent in a foreign language.
In 2002, sales managers earned a median annual salary of $73,340. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10 percent, who earned less than $39,120, and the highest 10 percent, who earned more than $142,260. The following shows the median annual salaries for the industries employing the highest numbers of financial managers:
- Securities and commodity contracts brokerage – $101,690
- Management of companies and enterprises – 88,310
- Nondepository credit intermediation – 78,400
- Local government – 63,090
- Depository credit intermediation – 58,790
Training and Education
The minimum educational requirement for employment as a financial manager is a bachelor’s degree in accounting, economics, finance, or business administration. Many employers have begun requiring candidates to hold a master’s degree in business administration, economics, finance, or risk management. However, experience may play a larger role than education in for positions such as branch managers in banks. Because of the fluid nature of financial laws and regulations, financial managers must frequently update their skills and knowledge by enrolling in continuing education. Graduate courses at universities, training programs sponsored by financial institutions, and professional certification programs are all options for continued training.
In 2002, financial managers held about 599,000 jobs. A majority were employed in the private sector, while about 10% worked for the different branches of government. 25% were employed by insurance and finance establishments.
Between 2002 and 2012, the number of financial managers is expected to increase about as fast as the average. The expansion of existing companies and the creation of new firms will fuel the increase in jobs. Although the banking industry is moving steadily toward consolidation, employment of bank branch managers will continue to increase due to the increased range of products offered by banks. Demand will be high in the securities and commodities industry, as well as for risk managers in general.
For information on becoming a financial manager, please check out the following resources: