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Become A Finance Director

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Working As A Finance Director

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • $144,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Finance Director Do

Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization. They produce financial reports, direct investment activities, and develop strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of their organization.

Duties

Financial managers typically do the following:

  • Prepare financial statements, business activity reports, and forecasts
  • Monitor financial details to ensure that legal requirements are met
  • Supervise employees who do financial reporting and budgeting
  • Review company financial reports and seek ways to reduce costs
  • Analyze market trends to maximize profits and find expansion opportunities
  • Help management make financial decisions

The role of the financial manager, particularly in business, is changing in response to technological advances that have substantially reduced the amount of time it takes to produce financial reports. Financial managers’ main responsibility used to be monitoring a company’s finances, but they now do more data analysis and advise senior managers on ways to maximize profits. They often work on teams, acting as business advisors to top executives.

Financial managers also do tasks that are specific to their organization or industry. For example, government financial managers must be experts on government appropriations and budgeting processes, and healthcare financial managers must know about topics in healthcare finance. Moreover, financial managers must be knowledgeable about special tax laws and regulations that affect their industry.

The following are examples of types of financial managers:

Chief financial officers (CFOs) are accountable for the accuracy of a company’s or organization’s financial reporting, especially among publicly traded companies. As head of a company’s entire financial department, they manage the lower level financial managers. They oversee the company’s financial goals, objectives, and budgets.

Controllers direct the preparation of financial reports that summarize and forecast the organization’s financial position, such as income statements, balance sheets, and analyses of future earnings or expenses. Controllers also are in charge of preparing special reports required by governmental agencies that regulate businesses. Often, controllers oversee the accounting, audit, and budget departments of their organization.

Treasurers and finance officers direct their organization’s budgets to meet its financial goals. They oversee the investment of funds and carry out strategies to raise capital (such as issuing stocks or bonds) to support the firm’s expansion. They also develop financial plans for mergers (two companies joining together) and acquisitions (one company buying another).

Credit managers oversee their firm’s credit business. They set credit-rating criteria, determine credit ceilings, and monitor the collections of past-due accounts.

Cash managers monitor and control the flow of cash that comes in and goes out of the company to meet the company’s business and investment needs. For example, they must project cash flow (amounts coming in and going out) to determine whether the company will have a shortage or surplus of cash. 

Risk managers control financial risk by using strategies to limit or offset the probability of a financial loss or a company’s exposure to financial uncertainty. Among the risks they try to limit are those that stem from currency or commodity price changes.

Insurance managers decide how best to limit a company’s losses by obtaining insurance against risks, such as the need to make disability payments for an employee who gets hurt on the job or the costs imposed by a lawsuit against the company.

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How To Become A Finance Director

Financial managers typically have a bachelor’s degree and 5 years or more of experience in another business or financial occupation, such as an accountant, securities sales agent, or financial analyst.

Education

A bachelor's degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration is often the minimum education needed for financial managers. However, many employers now seek candidates with a master’s degree, preferably in business administration, finance, or economics. These academic programs help students develop analytical skills and learn financial analysis methods and software.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Professional certification is not required, but some financial managers still get it to demonstrate a level of competence. The CFA Institute confers the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification to investment professionals who have at least a bachelor’s degree, 4 years of work experience, and pass three exams. The Association for Financial Professionals confers the Certified Treasury Professional credential to those who pass an exam and have a minimum of 2 years of relevant experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Financial managers usually have experience in another business or financial occupation. For example, they may have worked as a loan officer, accountant, securities sales agent, or financial analyst. 

In some cases, companies provide formal management training programs to help prepare highly motivated and skilled financial workers to become financial managers.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Financial managers increasingly are assisting executives in making decisions that affect their organization, a task which requires analytical ability.

Communication skills. Excellent communication skills are essential because financial managers must explain and justify complex financial transactions.

Detail oriented. In preparing and analyzing reports such as balance sheets and income statements, financial managers must be precise and attentive to their work in order to avoid errors.

Math skills. Financial managers must be skilled in math, including algebra. An understanding of international finance and complex financial documents also is important.

Organizational skills. Financial managers deal with a range of information and documents and so they must stay organized to do their jobs effectively.

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Average Length of Employment
Finance Director 4.0 years
Finance Controller 3.6 years
Finance Manager 3.6 years
Finance Supervisor 3.6 years
Finance Leader 3.1 years
Top Careers Before Finance Director
Controller 12.9%
Accountant 5.2%
Manager 3.6%
Director 2.3%
Consultant 2.2%
Top Careers After Finance Director
Controller 12.2%
Consultant 6.2%
Director 4.3%
Accountant 2.8%
Owner 2.6%
President 2.5%

Do you work as a Finance Director?

Finance Director Demographics

Gender

Male

62.7%

Female

35.0%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

61.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

8.6%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.2%

French

11.0%

German

7.2%

Portuguese

5.9%

Chinese

5.6%

Mandarin

4.8%

Russian

3.3%

Italian

2.6%

Japanese

2.4%

Arabic

2.4%

Korean

2.0%

Hindi

1.5%

Dutch

0.9%

Cantonese

0.9%

Gujarati

0.7%

Hebrew

0.7%

Persian

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Malay

0.6%

Carrier

0.6%
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Finance Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

14.7%

New York University

8.3%

University of Chicago

6.1%

DePaul University

5.6%

University of Texas at Austin

5.0%

University of Southern California

4.8%

George Washington University

4.7%

Cornell University

4.5%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Michigan State University

4.1%

Villanova University

3.9%

Duke University

3.9%

University of Florida

3.9%

Columbia University

3.9%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%

Fordham University

3.7%

Drexel University

3.7%

Hofstra University

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

31.4%

Accounting

30.3%

Finance

20.4%

Management

3.7%

Economics

2.2%

Political Science

2.1%

Marketing

1.5%

Law

1.0%

Psychology

0.9%

Public Administration

0.9%

Education

0.8%

Communication

0.6%

Human Resources Management

0.6%

Project Management

0.6%

Computer Science

0.5%

Health Care Administration

0.5%

Computer Information Systems

0.5%

Business Economics

0.5%

International Business

0.5%

Criminal Justice

0.5%
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Degrees

Masters

42.0%

Bachelors

40.7%

Other

10.6%

Associate

2.5%

Certificate

2.1%

Doctorate

1.6%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Real Finance Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Strategic Finance Director Jab Holding Company, LLC Emeryville, CA Sep 12, 2015 $390,000
Strategic Finance Director Jab Holding Company, LLC Emeryville, CA Dec 09, 2015 $390,000
Finance Director, Asia DLA Piper LLP (Us) San Diego, CA Aug 09, 2016 $303,000
Finance Director Essar Steel Minnesota, LLC Hibbing, MN Jul 01, 2015 $300,000
Finance Director Essar Steel Minnesota, LLC Hibbing, MN Jun 01, 2015 $300,000
Director, Leveraged Finance Merrill Lynch New York, NY Jun 06, 2016 $290,000 -
$310,000
Director, Global Finance Advisory Barclays Capital Inc. New York, NY Oct 05, 2016 $260,000
Partner-Global Finance Director The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Boston, MA Jan 19, 2015 $250,000 -
$400,000
Finance Director Premier Worldwide Marketing, LLC Miami, FL Oct 01, 2015 $250,000
Director, Invest & Corp Banking, Financial Institutions BMO Capital Markets Corp. New York, NY Nov 05, 2016 $250,000
Finance Director, CFT Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 21, 2016 $242,400 -
$262,400
Finance Director, CFT Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Aug 08, 2016 $242,400
Director, Leveraged Finance UBS Securities LLC New York, NY Oct 08, 2016 $227,500 -
$275,000
US Director of Finance The Mill Group, Inc. New York, NY May 05, 2016 $227,178
Finance Director Soitec Solar Inc. San Diego, CA Aug 05, 2015 $153,171 -
$174,000
Director of Finance Cuscowilla Management & Administrative Ser Eatonton, GA Apr 30, 2015 $152,402
Kinc Director, Financial Systems Kaplan, Inc. Day, NY Nov 01, 2015 $151,944
Finance Director GDF SUEZ Cameron LNG Holding II Corp Houston, TX Feb 23, 2015 $151,500
Finance Director, Municipal & Commercial Business Line Veolia Water North America Operating Services, LLC Boston, MA Aug 12, 2015 $151,000
Finance Director Jurlique Holistic Skin Care, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jan 12, 2016 $150,800
Director of Financial Reporting Evonik Corporation Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Aug 17, 2015 $150,316
Director of Finance Sunverge Energy, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2016 $150,000
Director Finance Ecolab USA Inc. Sugar Land, TX Apr 07, 2016 $120,500
Director, Financial Planning & Analysis Caivis Investment Company V, LLC New York, NY Jun 13, 2016 $120,000
Director of Finance Premise Data Corporation San Francisco, CA Jan 05, 2015 $120,000 -
$180,000
Director of Finance Medialets, Inc. New York, NY Aug 26, 2015 $120,000
Finance Category Director NIKE, Inc. Portland, OR Nov 30, 2015 $120,000
Director of Finance Frankly, Inc. Islandia, NY Sep 30, 2016 $120,000
Director of Finance Premise Data Corporation San Francisco, CA May 01, 2015 $120,000 -
$180,000
Director, Financial and Strategic Mapco Express, Inc. Brentwood, TN Feb 02, 2016 $120,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Finance Director

Average Yearly Salary
$144,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$96,000
Min 10%
$144,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Median 50%
$144,000
Median 50%
$216,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Morgan Stanley
Highest Paying City
Bristol, CT
Highest Paying State
Connecticut
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Finance Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Finance Director in the United States is $144,747 per year or $70 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $96,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $216,000.

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Top Skills for A Finance Director

  1. Financial Statements
  2. Payroll
  3. Audit
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed and supervised monthly reporting, budgeting process, year-end statutory audit and financial statements for our International division.
  • Managed staff payroll interests, including determining compensation rates, executing performance evaluations, reporting, and payment.
  • Managed audit relationship for annual legal entity and benefit plan audits.
  • Designed and implemented a fully integrated accounting and reporting system to ensure compliance with donor/regulatory reporting requirements and improved financial analysis.
  • Prepared and presented annual budget, condominium association budget and financial statements to management and owners.

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Top 10 Best States for Finance Directors

  1. New York
  2. Washington
  3. Connecticut
  4. California
  5. Michigan
  6. Delaware
  7. Minnesota
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Texas
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (1,489 jobs)
  • (727 jobs)
  • (345 jobs)
  • (3,571 jobs)
  • (588 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (521 jobs)
  • (983 jobs)
  • (1,611 jobs)
  • (684 jobs)

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