What Types of Skills Are Required to Be a Financial Manager?

by Elvis Michael

Most financial managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in either accounting, finance, economics or a related discipline. Many further their education and pursue a master’s degree in business administration or finance. Many also pursue other credentials such as Certified Public Accountant or Chartered Financial Analyst to increase opportunities for promotion and new job opportunities.

Financial managers need a number of personal attributes to be successful on the job. Strong analytical skills are required, because financial managers must be able to analyze an organization’s financial operations and make adjustments as necessary. They must be detail oriented and have excellent math skills to ensure accuracy of financial reports. Strong communication skills are also important so financial managers can share information with other employees and executives in a clear, logical and accurate fashion.

Financial managers need a strong work ethic to help them navigate through different jobs and responsibilities. They might spend many years poring over financial reports as accountants or financial employees

before rising to the position of financial manager. During busy times of the year, such as tax time or when quarterly reports are due, they might have to put in longer hours to meet deadlines. Most employers also require industry-specific experience because each industry requires different financial knowledge and skills. This will usually require financial managers to take part in continuing education to stay current on changes in an industry's financial and accounting procedures.

The number of jobs for financial managers is expected to grow 9 percent between 2010 and 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Although this growth is slower than the average for all occupations, it will vary by industry. Job prospects will be best for those with advanced education and credentials, as many companies must adhere to stricter federal regulations and seek highly skilled financial managers to assist them. Among the 484,910 financial managers employed in the United States as of 2012, the average salary was $123,260 per year, according to the BLS.

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