If you are an accounting & finance student or at the early career stages of accounting & finance, then this is the right article for you. You need to read the below guidance to reach the position of Finance Manager.
Companies hire candidates mainly because of what they have done in the past. So, do proper research on the job descriptions (JDs) of Finance Managers and see what the ordinary functions of finance managers are. Once you go through some of the JDs of Finance managers, you’ll see a long list of tasks and responsibilities. However, all of them are not equal in importance. I can summarize these responsibilities in below 4 points:
- Financial management of the organization, i.e., where to invest excess cash and how to arrange for the funding wherever required
- Preparation of forecasts, budgets and financial models
- Preparation of financial statements as per applicable accounting standards
- Routine accounting functions like handling payments, collections from receivables etc.
Now, the first two points are critical. These are the points where usually candidates lack. The first point of financial management is related to the treasury side of the role. As a finance manager, you need to manage the flow of money. Money for an organization is like blood for a living body. A good finance manager knows how to manage the flow of the money and find out the ways wherever there is an issue.
Financial analysis and planning is another desired skill from Finance managers. If you can prepare financial models, prepare budgets and do business planning activities, then you are a star for your next employer. These are the skills which guide the organization on how to proceed ahead and take the right business decisions.
Another important role is related to financial reporting and consolidation; this is mainly an area of Financial Accounting but may be valuable for the position of Finance manager too. You need to learn the latest consolidation rules and master the art of group consolidation.
Now, if you don’t have good skills in investment management, treasury management, financial management, financial modelling, financial planning & analysis, budgeting, IFRS, consolidation, group reporting etc. then you need to learn these skills and apply in your current role. Once you learn these skills and use in your current position, then you’ll be able to showcase these skills of a good finance manager to prospective employers.
You can learn these skills through online courses available on various MOOC platforms (Massive Online Open Courses) like coursera.com, edx.com, khanacademy.com etc. These courses are available at quite low rates, and you can complete them at your own pace without worrying about attending formal classes.
Once you get these courses and certificates, and you apply the same in your current role, you are all set to reach the actual Finance manager position.