On the Job
Financial managers take care of the budgets and investments for companies.
There are lots of quotes about money. The most direct is perhaps the most true: "Time is money." Then there is the line, "I've got my mind on my money, and my money on my mind," that is used in many rap songs. Ben Franklin coined the phrase, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Needless to say, money matters are important, especially to companies, where profit is the name of the game. It takes a good financial manager to make sure the money is tracked and handled wisely.Almost every business or organization has a financial manager. Duties of financial managers vary with their specific titles. Chief financial officers (CFOs) are the top financial executives. They oversee all financial functions. They also prepare and implement the organization's financial plans and policies. In small firms, chief financial officers may handle all financial matters. However, in large firms, they may direct one financial department.
Controllers are financial managers who prepare financial reports, such as balance sheets. They also prepare reports required by the government. In addition, controllers often supervise the accounting, audit, and budget departments.
Treasurers and finance officers oversee budgets and move organizations toward their financial goals. They develop strategies for how their companies should invest their money. Cash managers monitor and control the cash flow of a firm. Risk and insurance managers try to reduce financial risk and loss. Credit managers decide to whom the firm will loan money.
Financial managers often direct other workers. In small companies, they supervise accountants and bookkeepers. In large companies, they may oversee the supervisors of the other financial workers. Some financial managers recruit and hire new staff. They may train new workers as well. Financial managers interpret company policies. They use these policies to create practices for their staff to follow.
Financial managers also have tasks that are unique to their industry. Branch managers of banks, for example, deal with collecting unpaid loans and credit card bills from customers. They set collection policies and coordinate the activities of workers who collect on these accounts. They also review reports about the status of collection procedures. When their workers are unable to collect, bank managers submit these accounts to lawyers for further action. In addition, bank managers may evaluate loan applications and decide how much money customers can borrow.
Regardless of the type of financial manager, almost all these workers use computers. They track and analyze information, write reports, and communicate with coworkers using computers.
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to this career.
- Set up financial plans and policies for organizations.
- Prepare financial reports, summaries, and balance sheets.
- Supervise one or more departments. May supervise all financial matters.
- Decide where money should be invested.
- Manage financial operations and monitor cash flow.
- May supervise the collection of unpaid loans.
- Interpret policies and implement new procedures.
- Hire and manage staff.
- Use computers to record and organize data.
- Analyze financial impact of local and national legislation.
People in this career perform the following list of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Use computers.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Process information.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Analyze data or information.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Document and record information.
- Convince others to buy goods or change their minds or actions.
- Explain the meaning of information to others.
- Judge the value of objects, services, or people.
- Think creatively.
- Guide, direct, and motivate subordinates.
- Provide advice and consultation to others.
- Develop goals and strategies.
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Have a high level of contact with staff or customers.
- Communicate by telephone, e-mail, letters, memos, and in person on a daily basis.
- Often work as part of a team.
- Are responsible for the work of others, especially branch managers who supervise the entire bank.
- Are often placed in conflict situations with customers or staff members. People may be angry or rude during these times.
- Always work indoors.
- Must be very exact in recording financial information. Errors could cost the company money.
- Repeat the same physical and mental activities.
- Make decisions on a daily basis that greatly impact clients, their coworkers, and employer's reputation.
- May seek advice from others before acting, but usually act independently.
- Set most of their daily tasks and goals without consulting another first.
- Work in a very competitive atmosphere where daily and weekly deadlines must be met.
- May work long hours, often up to 50 to 60 hours per week.
- May travel to attend conferences or meet customers. They may also visit other branches of their company.
Physical Work Conditions
In a typical work setting, people in this career:
- Sit for long periods of time.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Understand the speech of another person.
- See details of objects that are less than a few feet away.
- Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very small objects.
- See details of objects that are more than a few feet away.
- See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
People in this career frequently:
It is important for people in this career to be able to:
It is not as important, but still necessary, for people in this career to be able to:
Source: Minnesota Department of Education.