A financial manager is responsible for providing financial advice and support to clients and colleagues to enable them to make sound business decisions. Specific work environments vary considerably and include both public and private sector organisations, such as multinational corporations, retailers, financial institutions, NHS trusts, charities, small manufacturing companies and universities.
Financial considerations are at the root of all major business decisions. Clear budgetary planning is essential for short and long-term future planning, and companies need to know the financial implications of any decision before proceeding. In addition, care must be taken to ensure that financial practices are in line with all statutory legislation and regulations.
Financial managers may also be known as financial analysts or business analysts.
Typical work activities
The roles of financial managers vary significantly. The generic nature of the job title can be misleading and job descriptions should be scrutinised carefully as the level and scope of the responsibilities involved in any role coming under the banner of financial management can vary enormously. In larger companies for instance, the role is more concerned with strategic analysis; in smaller organisations, a financial manager may be responsible for the collection and preparation of accounts.
Typical activities include:
providing and interpreting financial information;
monitoring and interpreting cash flows and predicting future trends;
analysing change and advising accordingly;
formulating strategic and long-term business plans;
researching and reporting on factors influencing business performance;
analysing competitors and market trends;
developing financial management mechanisms that minimise financial risk;
conducting reviews and evaluations for cost-reduction opportunities;
managing a company's financial accounting, monitoring and reporting systems;
liaising with auditors to ensure annual monitoring is carried out;
developing external relationships with appropriate contacts, e.g. auditors, solicitors, bankers and statutory organisations such as the Inland Revenue;
producing accurate financial reports to specific deadlines;
arranging new sources of finance for a company's debt facilities;
keeping abreast of changes in financial regulations and legislation.