Financial Manager Training Requirements And Job Qualifications

To break into financial management, candidates need to prepare themselves academically with at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, economics, or business administration. In an increasingly competitive market, a master’s degree especially in business administration, economics, or risk management is increasingly important. Employers value the analytical skills and the training in the latest financial methods and technology that these degrees provide their employees.
For some financial management positions, formal education can be secondary to work experience. This is especially true for banks, where branch managers have generally worked their way up from other positions. Banks often promote successful, experienced loan officers and other professionals. Some financial managers enroll in their company’s management training programs in order to move into the field.
To stay abreast of the complex and dynamic profession of financial management, these managers must upgrade their training throughout their careers. Firms have a vested interest in keeping their employees’ skills sharp, and many firms encourage employees to take graduate courses at colleges and universities or participate in professional training conferences. Banking, credit union, and financial management associations regularly collaborate with colleges and universities to sponsor local and national training programs. Firms frequently cover all or some of the costs of these programs for workers who successfully complete them. Workers enrolled in such programs prepare thoroughly before attending various sessions on subjects like financial analysis; international banking; information systems; and accounting, budget, and corporate cash management. Such specialized courses may accelerate one’s professional advancement, even though the usually criteria for promotion are ability, experience, and leadership.
Professional certification is another option for those looking to expand their skills and emphasize their competence, and many associations offer professional certification programs. Investment professionals with a bachelor’s degree, passing marks on three sequential examinations, and requisite experience can earn the designation of Chartered Financial Analyst from the Association for Investment Management and Research. The Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) awards an accreditation of Certified Cash Manager to financial workers with at least 2 years of relevant experience who pass a computer-based exam. Members of the Institute of Management Accountants can receive the designation of Certified in Financial Management if they have a bachelor’s degree, have at least 2 years of work experience, pass the institute’s four-part examination, and complete ongoing education requirements. Financial managers concentrating in accounting may also become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or a Certified Management Accountant (CMA).
Financial managers must possess various skills. Because they constantly interact with and manage people, working on teams and explaining complex financial information, financial managers need excellent interpersonal and communication skills. Financial managers should think creatively and be problem-solvers, and they must be able to apply their analytical skills to all types of business situations.
They also need a broad understanding of business practices, as they work extensively with many of the firm’s departments. They must be able to work on the latest computer technology. Furthermore, the increasingly global nature of finance means that financial managers must be familiar with international finance and they may benefit from being proficient in a foreign language.
Successful financial managers have various options available to them, since efficient business operations rely on effective financial management. Within an organization, financial managers with training, experience, and a solid understanding of various departmental operations are prime candidates for advancement to positions of upper management. Other financial managers choose to move laterally to similar positions in other industries, and those with extensive experience and access to sufficient capital may even found consulting firms of their own.