What is a Head of Finance?

Finance is not only a growing industry but an industry that many aspire become a part of, and choosing a career as a head of finance can be the start of a very lucrative career. Being head of finances means being in charge of an organization’s finances and ensuring the company is as profitable as possible. Some of the duties of a head of finance include conducting risk management, approving or rejecting budgets, forecasting financial results, and assessing risks in financial transactions. Working as a head of finance can be an exciting and challenging career.

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What is a Head of Finance?

The head of finance of an organization or business is the individual in charge of the financial health of the company. They’re also known as financial managers or chief financial officers. As head of finance, the individual has many responsibilities including, but not limited to, preparing financial statements and business activity reports; assessing financial details to ensure regulations are met; assist management in making financial decisions, and supervising employees who work with budgets and financial reports.

The financial manager also performs a lot of data analysis and use their result to help them advise senior managers on how to increase their profitability. They also analyze the market trends to find ways to grow and bring in more revenue as well as reduce costs. They may also work with and advise top executives. This position is one of great importance because it’s the head of finance’s responsibility to remain profitable.

How to Become a Financial Manager

To become a head of finance or a financial manager, an individual must have at least at least a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration or a similar field. The candidate may have an economics, accounting or financial planning degree. The candidate should have at least five years of work experience in a financial or business institution. With the finance industry in such demand, many employers are requiring their head of finance have a master’s degree. The individual may earn a bachelor’s finance or financial planning degree, obtain work experience and then pursue the master’s degree to enhance employment opportunities.

This position does not require certification, but many choose to obtain certification to demonstrate their knowledge and commitment. Some choose to earn the Chartered Financial Analyst certification through the CFA Institute while others may obtain the Certified Treasury Professional certification from the Association for Financial Professors.

Career Outlook & Wage Potential

Financial managers are predicted to have an employment growth of 19 percent during the 2016-2026 decade as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The bureau also reports 689,000 new financial manager jobs will be created by 2026. As of a May 2017 report, financial manager annual wages ranged from $66,480 to $172,920 or more with the average wage at $143.530. The average wage for chief financial officers is $364,649 with the wages ranging from $286,303 to $454,329. These numbers, which may include bonuses and commissions, are from a July 2018 report by Salary.com.

The complex tax and regulatory environment, our growing economy and globalization are all contributing to the positive employment growth for business and financial operations jobs, according to the BLS. As the economy continues to grow, every financial institution or growing industry will need a qualified head of finance.