Financial manager: job description

Financial managers provide financial advice within public and private sector organisations.

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What does a financial manager do? | Graduate salaries | Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Financial managers advise on business planning, helping leaders of organisations make large-scale decisions. This might involve giving guidance on investments, savings, pensions or insurance products. They work for a wide range of organisations, from high-street retailers, professional services firms and NHS trusts to charities.

Typical duties include:

  • collating, preparing and interpreting reports, budgets, accounts, commentaries and financial statements
  • managing accounting practices across the organisation
  • producing long-term business plans
  • undertaking research into pricing, competitors and factors affecting performance
  • managing budgets
  • developing and managing financial systems/models
  • carrying out business modelling and risk assessments.

Financial managers tend to have a background in accounting and many organisations will require a professional accountancy qualification. Look for accountancy graduate schemes or finance leadership development graduate programmes on , via your careers service and through specialist recruitment agencies.

Graduate salaries

If you join an accountancy graduate scheme , you can expect to earn between £20,000 and £28,000, depending on the employer and location. Graduates on NHS schemes, for example, earn around £25,000. Regardless of the sector you work in, your salary will increase once you’re qualified.

Find out more about salaries in accountancy and financial management .

Typical employers of financial managers

  • Law firms.
  • Retailers.
  • Health organisations such as NHS trusts.
  • Consumer goods companies.
  • IT companies.
  • Construction companies.
  • Educational organisations such as colleges and universities.

Qualifications and training required

A career in financial management is open to both university graduates and school leavers. As with many financial careers, much of the training involved in financial management happens on the job. The most typical way to start your career if you are a graduate is to join an accountancy firm, a large commercial organisation with a finance graduate scheme or a public sector body such as the NHS or the Civil Service Fast Stream. You’ll then study towards professional qualifications that will enable you to move into financial management.

You don’t need a degree in finance, although familiarity with maths, management or business subjects will help. If your degree is in a numerate subject, this could reduce the time taken to gain your professional qualifications.

If you’re a school leaver, you can gain entry-level qualifications with a professional accounting body and work your way up. For more information, see the finance sector of targetcareers , our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for financial managers

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