What is finance management?

Finance management is an essential role in an organization, and the primary goal is to ensure there is minimal or no financial waste in the company’s processes. Finance managers spend the majority of their time monitoring and analyzing data. They then use that information to advise senior managers on the best ways to maximize an organization’s profitability.

Among many other duties, a finance manager’s job description includes reviewing financial reports and forecasts, which they use to help plan for the short-term financial needs and long-term financial goals of an organization. Want to learn more? We’ll cover everything you need to know about a career in finance management, including qualifications, day-to-day responsibilities, salary, and career opportunities.

How is it monitored?

The key performance areas for finance managers involve the long-term profitability of the organization. On a daily basis, a finance manager’s goals and objectives at their most basic are to reduce costs and discover ways to bring in more money, although specific benchmarks will depend upon the organization and its goals. Because they deal with the financial information of an organization, a finance manager’s work must comply with all applicable governmental laws, rules, and regulations.

Finance manager salary

So how much does a finance manager make? In the U.S., the average pay in 2019 was $147,530 per year. The salary range for finance manager positions can span from approximately $68,000 to $182,000, and it depends on your location, your experience, and the type of company.

Finance manager skills list

  • Analytical skills to interpret financial reports
  • Communication skills to explain data’s meaning
  • Organizational and leadership skills
  • Detail-oriented and precise mindset
  • Decision-making skills and judgement

Finance manager qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred)
  • 5+ years of experience in business
  • Knowledge topics and regulations
  • Professional certifications like the Certified Government Financial Manager designation preferred

Finance manager responsibilities and duties

Common finance manager roles and responsibilities involve overseeing the finances of their organization. Along with their team, finance managers monitor financial information about the organization and use that data to help set short and long-term financial goals. Cutting costs and maximizing profit are key finance manager competencies. Additional duties of finance managers include:

  • Monitors the day-to-day financial operations, including payroll and invoicing.
  • Prepares financial statements, reports and forecasts for management, government regulators, and customers.
  • Directs and assesses investment activities.
  • Develops plans for an organization’s long-term goals.
  • Ensures legal requirements are met in regards to financial details.
  • Supervises other employees who perform financial reporting and budgeting duties.
  • Reviews financial reports, using them to find ways to reduce costs.
  • Analyzes market trends to maximize profits and find opportunities for growth, such as expansion, mergers, and acquisitions.
  • Acts as an advisor to top executives, helping them make financial decisions.
  • Continues education and stays up to date on topics, tax laws, and regulations that are specific to the organization or industry.

Top finance manager interview questions

To land a finance manager role, it’s important to go into an interview prepared. Question topics can range from technical expertise and computation abilities to management style and ethics principles. Here are some questions to expect when you’re interviewing for a finance manager position:

  1. What is the biggest budget you've managed in your career?
  2. Describe a time when your advice to senior management resulted in higher profits.
  3. How has your work experience so far prepared you to work as a finance manager?
  4. What is the most important financial advice you've ever received? What’s the most significant financial advice you’ve given?
  5. If one of your subordinates made an error, how would you handle reporting the error? How would you deal with the subordinate?
  6. What metrics do you use to evaluate an organization’s progress?
  7. Describe a time when you showed initiative regarding financial matters in an organization.
  8. What are the key elements to review when evaluating an organization’s investments?
  9. How would you describe your leadership style? How do you think that style would contribute to this organization?
  10. How would you handle a situation where you disagreed with a superior? How would you handle the situation if a subordinate disagreed with you?

Similar positions

If you’re looking for roles that are similar to finance manager, here are some positions that overlap in their job duties:

  • Accountants
  • Budget Analysts
  • Insurance Underwriters
  • Loan Officers
  • Personal Financial Advisors

Career advancement

Experienced finance managers may advance to these roles:

  • Financial Controller
  • Finance Director
  • Chief Financial Officer

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