Being a financial manager involves more than number-crunching and financial reports. Here are seven non-financial skills necessary for you to thrive as a financial manager:
1 – Natural leadership ability
I use the word “leadership” and not “management” here because, as a financial manager, your leadership role will not be limited to monitoring a team, assessing that team’s performance, and mentoring and coaching people on how to do certain things. While it does involve these aspects, it doesn’t end there. Leadership involves more than supervising and reviewing. As a financial manager, you also need to motivate people and inspire their respect. A lot of the decision-making will fall on you, and your team will flourish only when your co-workers trust your judgement.
2 – Strong work ethic
Financial managers spend hours upon hours putting together financial reports, scheduling projects, managing relationships, and drawing up budgets. They juggle many different responsibilities simultaneously. Stamina is crucial in this role. Particularly during busy seasons (such as tax time, financial year-ends, and big client deadlines), financial managers need to be driven, focused, and diligent about their work.
3 – Outstanding communication skills
Outstanding written and verbal communication skills are invaluable. As a financial manager, you will have to engage in cross-divisional liaising with colleagues, human resources, and managerial staff. You will need the ability to convey complicated concepts, issues, and processes effectively and in an accessible way to various people with different kinds and levels of expertise.
4 – Aptitude for problem solving
Critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and strategic analysis are all vital non-financial skills required of a financial manager. In this role, you will have to develop an analytical approach to problems, learn to evaluate your options critically, and come up with solutions that make long-term strategic sense. You will also have to work well under pressure and assist in resolving the problems your clients and co-workers encounter.
5 – Organisational proficiency
Impeccable time management, record-keeping, and other organisational skills are a must for financial managers. The multiple deadlines of this job will not only include your own. You will also have to be proficient about getting the work you need from your co-workers in time in order to complete your projects. Keeping records of all your reports and analyses is also important, as you may be questioned on them later down the line.
6 – Adaptability and agility
In the financial world, industry standards and regulations can change every year. A successful financial manager must stay abreast of these changes and do the necessary research to remain informed. In addition, you should have the capacity to process and apply the new information in the way you work and interact with co-workers. This means you can never become too comfortable with one way of doing things. You will need the foresight and ability to adapt as your industry adapts.
7 – Technological inclination
It almost goes without saying that you’ll need to become a maestro in Excel and all the other relevant software programs applicable to your role as financial manager. You must also be prepared to learn new programs as required, to learn them quickly, and to become adept in them at an expert level.
If you’re aiming for a career as a financial manager, and you’d like to develop these non-financial skills, have a look at the online short courses you can study at Oxbridge Academy.