As the director of finance, you’re in charge of overseeing an organization’s financial activities. This means that you manage the budget, handle all accounting and money-related functions, oversee any banking or investments, prepare tax returns, and more. You may be called upon to do any number of other tasks as well.
The responsibilities for this job vary depending on the size and type of company you work for, but your day-to-day will typically include several duties that you need to juggle at once. You might oversee a team of employees or be responsible for multiple departments at once. You might also work closely with other top executives to decide how to use corporate funds or which investments to make next.
Read on to learn more about what it’s like to be a director of finance and what it takes to become one yourself.
Director Of Finance Job Duties
A director of finance oversees all financial activities for a company. Some common duties include:
- Developing, implementing, and monitoring financial policies and procedures
- Managing day-to-day operations of the department to ensure that all deadlines are met, budgets are adhered to, and accounting is accurate
- Assisting in communications with higher level management about budget priorities
- Collecting data from various sources to assess the health of the company’s finances
- Preparing reports on financial performance or preparing presentations on fiscal year results
- Providing guidance on financial matters to personnel below them in the organization
- Maintaining a large network of relationships with vendors, clients, and other stakeholders
Director Of Finance Salary & Outlook
The median annual wage for directors of finance is $100,665. Those earning higher wages tend to work in the financial industry, and the highest earners are bringing home more than $185,000 per year.
Demand for directors of finance is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade. This is due to the growing use of technology that streamlines financial operations. As businesses become more efficient, they will need fewer workers in this area to handle their day-to-day finances.
Director Of Finance Job Requirements
The requirements for directors of finance are as follows:
Education: A bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration or a related field is usually required. Many employers prefer candidates with an advanced degree, such as a master’s degree in business administration (MBA.
Experience: Candidates typically need several years of experience working in government accounting, auditing, or budgeting before they can be considered for a director position.
Certification: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offers the Certified Public Accountant designation. This designation indicates that you’ve passed a rigorous examination and possess a certain level of knowledge and skills necessary to practice public accounting.
Director Of Finance Skills
A director of finance will generally have the following skills:
Strong communication skills: Directors of finance must be able to communicate effectively with employees, customers, and investors.
Analytical skills: The job demands excellent analytical skills. You’ll need to look at all aspects of a situation before making a decision.
Management skills: As a director of finance, you’ll have a lot of responsibility for hiring and firing employees, managing budgets, and ensuring that operations run smoothly.
Business acumen: The director of finance should be able to evaluate and analyze financial data, such as profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow reports.
Organizational skills: You must be organized in order to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
Director Of Finance Work Environment
Directors of finance work in busy office settings. Many work in large organizations, such as corporations. Because they oversee many aspects of a finance department, they must be able to handle a lot of responsibility.
The director of finance may be required to meet deadlines that require extra hours at the office, especially during tax season. The work can be stressful, as directors of finance are responsible for the organization’s financial success or failure.
Director Of Finance Career Advancement
If you want to advance your career as a director of finance, it’s important that you continue to learn as much as you can about the financial markets. Additionally, you should take on more leadership roles within your organization and show that you’re able to effectively communicate with executives at all levels.
A director of finance can move up in rank to become a CFO (Chief Financial Officer) or even the CEO (Chief Executive Officer). These professionals are tasked with overseeing all operations, including maintaining the company’s financial records, handling legal issues, and hiring new employees.
Director Of Finance Trends
Here are three trends influencing how directors of finances work. Directors of finance will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.
Increased Collaboration Among Finance Teams
As more organizations rely on their finance teams to support strategic decision-making, collaboration has become increasingly important in this field.
In fact, one recent study found that collaboration is so important for finance teams that almost half of all respondents would be willing to move from a company with low levels of interdepartmental communication to one with strong interdepartmental communication if the compensation packages were similar.
The Growing Importance of Data Analytics
As the role of finance in business becomes increasingly important, executives are increasingly focused on using data analytics to drive their business strategies.
While all business decisions should be data-driven, many organizations struggle to get beyond traditional accounting practices that track cash flow and account balances to more modern solutions that use big data for greater insights into how money is spent and where it can be saved. Businesses that don’t keep up with this trend risk falling behind in the global economy.
Growing Importance of Data Visualization
As businesses look to communicate more effectively with their stakeholders, data visualization is becoming increasingly important in the finance profession.
Data visualization can help people convey key messages in a clear and effective way while still providing the data necessary for colleagues and other decision-makers to make better decisions about how to allocate resources within their organization.
How to Become a Director Of Finance
1. Planning Your Career Path
Before pursuing a career as a director of finance, it is important to ask yourself what you want out of your job. Do you want to work in an office all day or would you prefer to travel? Are you interested in helping people through financial literacy programs or do you want to manage an entire company’s finances? It’s important to think about the different facets of this role before deciding if it’s right for you.
To prepare for a position like this, consider earning a degree in accounting and working in some entry-level roles in finance. These experiences will help you understand how each department functions within an organization.
2. Writing a Resume
The best resumes for director of finance positions list not only experience with financial operations, but also strong leadership skills. You should make use of the resume’s summary section to explain your management style and briefly explain how you’ve used it to achieve success in your past positions.
It’s important to provide specific examples of how you led others and created change within an organization. You can highlight this by including achievements such as improved customer satisfaction or decreased costs, and awards that you received for your efforts. Focus on how you were able to maintain control over expenses and analyze trends.
If you have any specific certifications or licenses, list them along with any professional affiliations you may have.
3. Applying for Jobs
In order to find a job as a director of finance, you should use your network to its fullest extent. Talk to the people you know who have a career in finance, and let them know that you’re looking for a new opportunity. Also, visit networking events in your area. These events can give you a chance to meet potential employers and build a professional network. It’s also a good idea to work on improving your resume and cover letter. Make sure they highlight your relevant experience and skills, and make sure they are tailored to the job you are applying for.
4. Ace the Interview
The director of finance position is a high-level job that can be quite challenging. In order to demonstrate your qualifications, you’ll need to research the company and demonstrate a good understanding of the company’s finances, as well as its potential for growth or contraction.
When discussing the projects you have worked on in the past, give specific examples of how your performance has benefited the company’s bottom line.
In addition, you will have to show off your interpersonal skills during the interview. This type of job requires strong leadership skills, as well as solid communication and interpersonal skills. Therefore, it is important to think about the questions you may be asked and prepare answers that highlight your strengths.