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How To Become A Financial Manager

Money makes the world go around. The truth of the matter is that you can't do much without money in this world. And when you consider how great money and finances are, the success of an organization will also be measured by how profitable that organization is.

Finances are the lifeblood of a business, and it is needed to keep the business afloat in an ever-changing and ever-shifting economic climate. But the amount of money that comes into a business is not the only important thing. How money is spent and used both internally on employees, production, and overheads; and externally on stock and suppliers will greatly determine how successful an organization is.

How well this money is invested also plays an extremely important role in the financial success of an organization.

It is, therefore, clear to see that the person who would manage the finances of an organization plays a vital role in the success of the organization.

To become a financial manager, you would first need to obtain a bachelor's degree, you would then need to gain field and industry experience, you will need to obtain certification, and then you would need to find a role in an organization.

Let us delve deeper into the role of a financial manager and what you would need to do to pursue this career path.

What Is A Financial Manager?

A financial manager is a person that oversees and manages all the finances of a business or an organization. They are also responsible for assessing if the company is currently running at a financial success or at a financial failure. If it is the latter, they would need to devise and implement strategies to turn things around.

While monitoring the financial health of an organization, they will liaise and work with the upper management of an organization to present the financial data to them, and for them to implement budgets and financial plans for the future, based on current economic trends.

Over and above taking care of the financial health of an organization, financial managers are responsible for meeting the legal requirements that pertain to tax. For example, they are responsible for overseeing a company's tax, investments, and insurance.

What Does A Financial Manager Do?

A financial manager has their finger on the pulse of a business at all times. They are responsible for analyzing the data and presenting the financial data in the form of reports to the management of a business.

They are also responsible for compiling and presenting the data to all stakeholders who have a financial interest in the organization. Not only do they deal with the 'now,' but they are also responsible for financial forecasting and assessing the financial viability and success of an organization well into the future.

They develop plans that will ultimately reduce costs, they keep an eye on market trends, and they implement and enforce budgetary regulations. They also keep an eye on internal employee performance as they are also in charge of payroll and other related aspects of finances.

Lastly, concerning taxes, financial managers are responsible for adhering to state and federal financial laws.

What Skills Do You Need To Be A Financial Manager?

To say that you would need to be good with numbers or numerically inclined is an understatement. You would need to have great attention to detail and superior accounting skills. You would need to have analytical, organizational, and presentation skills, and you would need to be an effective leader. You would also need to have the ability to gather and interpret financial data and to draft financial reports based on this data.

Steps To Become A Financial Manager

Step One: Earn A Degree

The first step to becoming a financial manager is obtaining the appropriate qualification. This would be in the form of a bachelor's degree in accounting, in finance, in business management, or in business administration.

Step Two: Earn A Graduate Degree

To qualify for a management-level role, you would need to obtain a graduate degree. You could earn your master's degree in accounting or finance, and this will prove to be a viable option especially if you have an undergraduate qualification in business management or business administration.

Obtaining a graduate degree will equip you with the skills and expertise that you need to successfully fulfill the role of a financial manager.

Step Three: Gain Experience

Having a master's degree may qualify you to obtain a management-level role, but you may need to work your way up the ranks by applying for a mid-level range role. This will allow you to gain direct experience in the field of finance and will contribute to your success as a financial manager.

Step Four: Gain Certification

Considering that working with finances can be extremely sensitive and confidential, and considering that it can make or break the success of an organization, you would need to be deemed fit to work and handle an organizations finances. Having a certification also makes you more appealing to hiring managers.

You could obtain a certification as a chartered financial analyst, a certified treasury professional, or a certified public accountant, but it is important to make sure that you check and meet all the state-specific requirements that you need in order to take these certification exams.

What Degree Do You Need To Be A Financial Manager

While a bachelor's degree would be enough to gain you an entry-level or mid-level role, having a master's degree qualifies you for management-level roles in different organizations. Therefore, it is recommended that you pursue a master's degree in finance.

What Is The Average Salary For A Financial Manager?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), financial managers earn a median annual salary of $131,710.

What Makes A Good Financial Manager?

Aside from the financial skills that are required to be successful in this role, you would also need to have honesty and integrity to be a good financial manager.


What Is The Job Outlook For Financial Managers?

The BLS states that employment for financial managers expects to see a projected 17% growth over the next ten years with about 71,300 jobs becoming available on average each year.

Is It Worth It To Become A Financial Manager?

Considering the earning potential and the job outlook for financial managers, it is a viable long-term career that can be pursued. With job security and opportunities for growth, it is a great career path to follow.

Are Financial Managers In Demand?

Considering that the job outlook projects a 17% growth for this career path, financial managers are definitely in demand.

How Long Does It Take To Become A Financial Manager?

It can take anywhere between six and seven years to become a financial manager if you take into account the time required to complete a bachelor's and master's degree. However, if you choose to obtain certification, it can take even longer to become a financial manager, taking anywhere between 10 and 12 years to become entirely certified.


If numbers are your thing and you think you have the skills to contribute to an organization's financial success, pursuing a career in finance and striving to become a financial manager may be the best career prospect for you to follow.

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