The basic tenet of any successful business is to sell products and services for profit. However, in order to scale up a small business, one must possess a greater financial acumen which can help the individuals find additional ways of making money. Becoming a financial manager will expand your awareness level and increase your odds of being successful.
The importance of finance in successful businesses
Growing a business requires access to new financial resources. Expanding a business, launching a new product or performing mergers and acquisitions, all require core finance knowledge. Clients will trust your business and you with their money only if they have the confidence that your heart is in it.
Then again, if you think that you can go about nodding your head to whatever the accountant explains to you, you are doing yourself and your business a disservice. For concepts like profit margins, debt burdens, and asset management, your financial knowledge should be impeccable.
So what do you need to actually become a successful financial manager?
Becoming a financial manager is not an easy choice to make. The highly specialized nature of this field makes it imperative for serious aspirants to gain credibility and build a reputation, and until you gain some respect, money won’t come easily. Thus the first thing to do is earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration, economics or finance. These academic programs will acquaint you with financial analysis methods and technology, and help you develop the analytical skills required for career success. Soft skills are also taught as a part of the program as peer to peer communication is an important part of the job of financial manager.
Obtaining an entry level finance job isn’t the easiest thing in this world. Competition is tough, especially in fields like investment management. To make sure you do not waste your time looking for the perfect job, experienced professionals advise that you should accept any relevant opportunity that comes your way. This will help you gain a foothold in the industry, make new contacts and develop the relationships required to advance your career.
Globally recognized certifications like Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Chartered Financial Planner (CFP) make you a good candidate for promotion or a salary hike at your workplace. These certifications have the best ROI and are therefore the most sought after. Employers also prefer candidates who have at least one professional certification highlighted in their resume. Needless to say, such professionals are paid exponentially higher than their counterparts who do not pursue these certifications.
Qualities of a good financial manager
Now, your decision to become a financial manager should actually be motivated by self-introspection of your qualities and traits. Performing well in a job is one thing, while being a great manager is another. So, besides all the technical knowledge and number crunching, what else sets a manager apart from a normal finance guy?
- Ability to manage and motivate team members to do their best
- High proficiency at formulating, implementing and evaluating sales policies
- In-depth working knowledge of the whole financial industry
- Sound investment acumen
- Strong communication skills; clarity of thought and speech
- Excellent time management and multi tasking skills
Financial managers are some of the most handsomely paid professionals. With the right mix of experience, certifications and education credentials one can easily expect to earn a six figure salary. As per the USA Bureau of Labor & Statistics, the average median pay lies in the range of $109,740 annually.
This article was contributed by guest author Saurabh Tyagi.