Any employer will tell you that financial managers are amongst the most important people in any organisation. They safeguard the company’s financial resources, deal with crucial areas such as tax and audits, and ensure that all of the company’s financial dealings are in order.
We spoke to financial manager Lavras Breedt, to discover what it’s like to be a professional in this field.
What are the main job responsibilities of a financial manager?
“The job is challenging but rewarding. There are a number of responsibilities that I am tasked with when keeping the company’s financial affairs in order.”
- Monthly analysis of the company’s financial results
- Ensuring compliance with relevant laws and regulations
- Preparing and monitoring budgets, forecasts, and management reports
- Managing and analysing cash flow on a weekly and monthly basis
- Performing month-end procedures such as reviewing bank accounts, allocating payments and receipts, and reviewing general ledger accounts and creditors
- Ensuring effective functioning of accounts payable and petty cash
- Preparing and submitting taxes
- Implementing, maintaining and monitoring financial accounting, payroll and human resource systems
- Monitoring, preparing and administrating salaries and wages
- Assisting with presentations made to company management
- Assessing sales and marketing figures
What character traits do you need to succeed in this career?
“The ability to manage your time effectively is definitely important. There are strict deadlines when it comes to aspects like submitting reports and paying salaries, so your employer and the company’s employees are depending on you.”
Breedt says that other essential skills include:
- Attention to detail: You need to ensure that there are no inconsistencies in your finances and that everything is reported accurately.
- Organisational skills: It is essential that you have all of your financial records in order. There are various documents and records that you have to keep track of and not having them properly organised, can have severe consequences when it comes to reporting, auditing, and tax requirements.
- Communication skills: You will constantly be required to communicate with your employers and a variety of other stakeholders, including auditors and tax officials.
- Management skills: You will be required to effectively oversee the finance department, managing your company’s team of bookkeepers, accountants or financial administrators.
- Problem-solving skills: You have to be able solve any problems or inconsistencies picked up in your financial records.
- Analytical skills: You need to be able to analyse budgets and cash flows.
What qualifications do you need to become a financial manager?
“A popular route is to study a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree at a university, which is what I did. However, work experience counts for a lot in this field, so you could also do a bookkeeping or accounting qualification and find work in a financial department. After a few years of building experience, your company may well see you as a potential candidate for the position of financial manager.”
Remember: If you complete your N4-N6 level studies in Financial Management, you will be able to apply for further studies at university level.
Financial managers are in high demand, meaning that this career offers good job security and financial security. So, if you like the sound of a career in finance, contact Oxbridge Academy today to find out about your options!