Career spotlight: Financial manager

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Monitoring and directing the financial well-being of a company is a complex job. For a business to reach its goals, it needs experts tasked with maintaining its records, guiding investment strategy and watching market trends. Financial managers make a vital contribution to a variety of organizations, from banks to hospitals, providing the knowledge and insights to enable long-term growth.

Becoming a financial manager takes education and experience. By earning an online MBA with a finance specialization, you can make huge strides on the path to this leadership position. With extensive training in the latest tools and techniques for keeping a company on track, graduates are ready to take on today’s fast-paced, data-driven world of business finance.

How financial managers contribute to organizations

A financial manager is responsible for ensuring the company stays on solid footing, supervising assets and investments. These professionals prepare financial reports and forecasts based on their analysis of revenues, expenses and broader industry conditions. Depending on the type of business they work in, they need to focus on a wide variety of factors that can affect the bottom line, such as government regulations or logistics concerns.

Based on those specific needs, an organization may include a number of different financial management roles. Treasurers are primarily focused on managing a budget and bringing in capital, while a controller is in charge of accounting functions, including filing financial reports. Cash managers concentrate on making certain the business will be able to meet its obligations, and insurance managers advise decision-makers on purchasing policies to protect the company against losses due to liability claims.

While these managers need constant awareness of the company’s financial standing, the demands of their positions have changed with the emergence of new technology. Most of the bookkeeping is now handled efficiently with automated software tools, and managers have a wealth of data available to gain a deeper understanding of shifts in the marketplace. As a result, financial managers are increasingly called upon to offer analytical insights and strategic guidance to top executives.

Financial management is a financially rewarding career path with plenty of opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for these jobs was $121,750 in 2016. The agency projected a 7 percent rate of growth in positions through 2024.

The skills of today’s leaders in finance

To find success as a financial manager in this fast-paced, globalized business environment, professionals must possess a diverse skill set. That begins, of course, with a deep understanding of finance, accounting and economics principles. To yield the benefits from the quantitative information they should be experienced in data analysis and capable of performing complex mathematical operations.

In addition to technical ability, these experts should be comfortable with handling the managerial aspects of their role. To oversee financial assistants and accountants and guide a company’s strategy, they need to develop a range of soft skills. Learning to lead a team and clearly communicate concepts to executives can be just as vital as knowing how to manage data.

Shifts in the nature of business have opened up many new opportunities for financial managers, but they also bring demand for more robust and varied abilities. Managers with the specialized knowledge to navigate international business or make the most of financial instruments and securities are best positioned to build an exceptional career in this field.

The education to excel in financial management

Achieving a great career as a financial manager requires an advanced education designed for today’s business challenges. Online MBA courses give students the grounding they need to excel in managing corporate finance, analyzing data and providing strong leadership. Graduates know how to use up-to-date tools and implement smart strategies to direct a company toward a sound financial future.

The Villanova School of Business offers specializations in finance as well as analytics, marketing and strategic management to teach students the methods that lead to sustainable growth for an organization. They have chances to study with leading thinkers in corporate finance, use best-in-class software and take part in practicum experiences that put their skills into action. They collaborate with teams, building networks of individuals with shared interests, and use all they’ve learned to solve real-world problems.

Earning an online MBA can be the start to finding a career as a financial manager. Visit the program page to find out more about the Villanova MBA program, including how you can apply.


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