How to Become a Finance Manager

If you’re someone who is naturally good at numbers, then becoming a finance manager might be easier than you think. Finance managers spend most of their time crunching numbers, analysing numerical data, fiddling with Excel sheets, making charts, graphs and pie tables, etc. All of this requires a high level of numerical proficiency and a very keen eye for detail. However, if you’re someone who possesses all these skills or has the means to acquire them then you should indeed be considering a career as a finance manager.

Finance managers handle all money-related aspects of the company’s operations. It is a role where mistakes can be costly, but it is also a role with an unprecedented number of learning opportunities and career growth prospects. So how does one go about starting their careers in financial management?

Step 1 – Get the right education

Finance, accounting or business degrees are the most beneficial for starting your career in finance. Economics or other mathematical disciplines could also work in most cases. Advanced courses like an MBA, formal accounting certifications or a master’s in financial management/ financial engineering, etc. would really boost your career prospects as well.

Academic achievement is more important in finance than many other roles. By having the right academic qualification on your CV, you can apply for more senior roles that offer better compensation. For someone looking to build a career in finance, focusing on higher education or advanced finance-related certifications should be made a priority.

Step 2 – Prepare for the selection process

Selection procedures for finance departments range from the mundane to the rather interesting. For some companies, your previous work experience and references might be enough in of themselves. However, there are other companies which can jump candidates through multiple hoops before selecting a decision. These include things like multiple written tests, psychometric tests and interviews involving mathematical puzzles or case studies.

Step 3 – Ask around about what the role entails

It might be a good idea to fully understand exactly what a role entails before interviewing for it. This should help the candidate to get a better idea about what sort of questions may be expected during the interview. Additionally, the candidate would have a better understanding of what they would be expected to do if they are selected.

Step 4 – Making career choices

Someone working in the finance department will have a lot of career choices available to them. At some point early in their careers, they would have to decide on a path to take for the future. It might make sense for them to specialise in a certain niche within finance or perhaps they could try to get some leadership experience instead. Either way, both paths would lead to ever-increasing responsibilities, a greater impact on the company’s operations and a commensurate hike in compensation.

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