How To Become a Finance Manager
If you’re naturally good at numbers, 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. High levels of numerical competence and acute attention to detail are needed. However, if you possess all these skills or have the means to acquire them, 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 also has an unprecedented number of learning opportunities and career growth prospects. So how does one go about starting their career 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 would also boost your career prospects.
Academic achievement is more important in finance than in many other roles. Having a suitable educational qualification on your CV, you can apply for more senior positions offering better compensation. Focusing on higher education or advanced finance-related certifications should be prioritised for someone looking to build a career in finance.
Step 2 – Prepare for the Selection Process
Selection procedures for finance departments range from the mundane to the rather interesting. Your previous work experience and references might be enough for some companies. However, there are other companies which can jump candidates through multiple hoops before selecting a decision. These include numerous written tests, psychometric tests and interviews involving mathematical puzzles or case studies.
Step 3: Ask Others What the Role Involves
Before attending an interview, do comprehensive research on the position. The interview questions to the applicant should now be more evident to them. The applicant would also be more aware of what would be required of them if chosen.
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 makes sense for them to specialise in a specific niche within finance, or they could try to get some leadership experience instead. Either way, both paths would lead to ever-increasing responsibilities, a more significant impact on the company’s operations and a commensurate hike in compensation.
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