what is a finance manager?

As a finance manager, you oversee an organisation's finances. Companies can access a range of financial resources and handle huge cash flows. Therefore, they require a finance manager to distribute and manage finances. Your job is to ensure the company's financial health by managing investment activities and developing the organisation's long-term financial goals.

As a finance manager, you are responsible for budget planning and distributing financial resources to various departments. You also advise the executive management, helping them make the best business decisions for the company. Most of your duties revolve around presenting financial reports and offering insights into financial decisions made by the company, which requires analytical ability and exceptional communication skills.

While your main role is to monitor the company’s finances, you also analyse data on investment activities to ensure the organisation is getting returns. You should also be familiar with your company's financial requirements. For instance, in the public sector, you require expertise in government appropriations, while in other industries, you need knowledge of tax laws and accounting standards from the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB).

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average finance manager salary

As a finance manager, you earn an average salary of $135,000 per year. When you are new to the role, you start with a remuneration package of $125,000 annually. Senior finance managers take home a higher salary due to the additional responsibility and complexity of the tasks associated with the role. When you have additional experience, your remuneration package is $145,000 per year.

what factors affect the salary of a finance manager?

Your remuneration package varies based on various factors. Having higher educational qualifications and credentials improves your earning prospects. When you have over five years of experience, your remuneration package is higher than that of a finance manager with only one year of experience.

The size of the company and your duties also influence your earnings. Large organisations have huge finance departments, and you could be in charge of the finances of one division or the entire company. When your job is to supervise the financial resources of the entire company or act as the chief finance manager, you take home a higher salary due to the complexity of your role.

Want to know what you will earn as a finance manager? Check out what you are worth with our salary checker.


types of finance managers

As a finance manager, you have numerous areas of specialisation. For instance, you could be a corporate finance manager overseeing the company's finances. Your duties include financial planning, analysis and reporting. You also manage the investment and financial obligations of the corporation.

As an investment manager, you work in banks, firms and other financial institutions. You are responsible for managing the organisation's investment portfolios. You also analyse market trends and make investment decisions. As a treasury manager, you are responsible for the organisation's cash liquidity. Companies or financial institutions rely on your expertise to ensure cash flow management. Your duties also include managing relationships with banks and evaluating debts and financing.

A risk manager evaluates potential risks that affect the company's financial health. You develop risk management strategies, ensure compliance with regulations, and monitor financial performance. Financial controllers oversee the daily financial activities of different companies. They supervise financial accounting and reporting by ensuring financial statements comply with accounting standards.

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working as a finance manager

If you are good with numbers and interested in working in finance, check out the duties and responsibilities of finance managers.


education and skills

If you want to become a finance manager, you require educational qualifications and certifications. Pursue a bachelor's degree in commerce, finance, accounting, economics or business administration. These full-time courses usually take three years. You should consider getting a postgraduate degree to improve your salary prospects.

Many employers prefer candidates with a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA) designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand. Aside from certifications, build your expertise through entry-level roles in accounting or finance. Improve your career prospects by joining industry bodies, such as the Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA) or the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

finance manager skills and competencies

You need soft and hard skills to become a successful finance manager. Additionally, you rely on your personal attributes and technical skills to excel in the role. These skills include:

  • analytical skills: having an analytical mindset is valuable for finance managers. Analytical skills help you identify problems and find solutions. The skills are also useful for analysing market trends and finding investment opportunities.
  • leadership skills: you are a team leader who oversees the entire finance department. Your leadership skills help you delegate tasks and motivate team members toward reaching a common goal.
  • communication skills: finance managers communicate and liaise with various people. For instance, you deal with cross-functional teams, executive managers and clients. Good communication and presentation skills are important when explaining financial information to stakeholders in understandable language.
  • interpersonal skills: companies thrive on teamwork, so it is crucial to maintain good relationships with other employees as a finance manager. Be polite, empathetic and a good listener.
    project management skills: as a finance manager, you need project planning and management skills. This is key because it allows you to handle several projects simultaneously. You delegate tasks when necessary and ensure employees complete the work as anticipated.

FAQs about working as a finance manager

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a finance manager.

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