Career Development

What Does a Head Of Finance Do?

Find out what a head of finance does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a head of finance.

The head of finance is the highest-ranking member of a company’s finance department. They are responsible for overseeing all aspects of the department, including managing their team and setting strategy.

The head of finance typically reports directly to the CEO or another senior executive in the organization. Their role is to ensure that the company has the right financial resources in place to achieve its goals. This may include developing new strategies to increase revenue or cut costs, implementing new systems or procedures, etc.

Head Of Finance Job Duties

A head of finance typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Creating and implementing new policies and procedures, as well as maintaining existing ones
  • Monitoring cash flow, forecasting future cash flow needs, and making adjustments accordingly
  • Ensuring that all financial reporting requirements are met, including tax filings and regulatory compliance
  • Managing accounting functions such as payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and general ledger maintenance
  • Developing budgets and working with managers to ensure they are met
  • Providing financial planning services to the organization, such as creating cash flow projections or developing capital budgets
  • Overseeing the accounting department, including monitoring staff performance and hiring new employees when needed
  • Creating financial models to forecast budget impact of proposed projects or policies
  • Monitoring the financial health of the organization by tracking key performance indicators such as cash flow, collections, and receivables

Head Of Finance Salary & Outlook

Head of finance salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses and commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $151,000 ($72.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $315,000 ($151.44/hour)

The employment of head of finance is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for financial planning and analysis will increase as firms seek to improve their efficiency and profitability. In addition, demand for these workers will be driven by the need for companies to comply with new regulations, such as the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires financial institutions to implement risk-management systems.

Related: Head Of Finance Interview Questions and Answers

Head Of Finance Job Requirements

The position of head of finance may require the following:

Education: A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is often a requirement to become a head of finance. However, many companies prefer to hire candidates with a master’s degree in finance, accounting or business administration. These degrees provide a strong foundation in business principles and prepare candidates for the responsibilities of a finance head.

Training & Experience: Most head of finance roles require at least five years of experience in a senior finance role. Some employers may prefer candidates with 10 or more years of experience. On-the-job training is minimal for this role, as most of the skills and knowledge required are learned through previous roles.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications allow professionals to prove their qualifications to current and future employers. Head of finance candidates can earn certifications to gain more theoretical knowledge of their responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

Head Of Finance Skills

Heads of finance need the following skills in order to be successful:

Budgeting: Budgeting is the process of planning how a company will spend its money. As a head of finance, you may be responsible for creating the company’s budget. This requires you to understand how to create a budget and how to use it to make financial decisions.

Accounting: Accounting is the process of recording and analyzing financial data. As a head of finance, you should have a strong understanding of accounting practices and procedures. This includes knowing how to read and interpret financial statements, how to create budgets and how to manage cash flow.

Analysis: Analytical skills are important for finance professionals, as they help you understand financial data and make informed decisions. When analyzing data, you can use your knowledge of accounting to understand the information presented and make decisions based on the data.

Communication: Communication is another important skill for a head of finance. You may be in charge of communicating financial information to the company’s executive team, board of directors and other stakeholders. You may also be responsible for communicating the company’s financial status to investors and the public. Effective communication can help you convey complex financial information in a way that others can understand.

Leadership: Leadership skills can help you advance in your career. As a head of finance, you may be responsible for managing a team of accountants and other finance professionals. Leadership skills can help you motivate your team and encourage them to perform well. You can also use leadership skills to help you develop company goals and strategies.

Head Of Finance Work Environment

The head of finance typically works in an office environment, although travel may be required for meetings with clients or other business partners. The job generally involves a great deal of paperwork and computer work. The head of finance must be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines. The job can be stressful, but it is also very rewarding. The head of finance is responsible for the financial well-being of the company and its shareholders. The head of finance must be able to make sound decisions that will have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Head Of Finance Trends

Here are three trends influencing how the head of finance works. The head 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.

The Need for More Technical Talent

As businesses become more complex, the need for technical talent increases. This is especially true in the finance department, where professionals are needed to manage and analyze data.

Heads of finance can capitalize on this trend by developing a strong understanding of technology and its applications. They can then use this knowledge to find and hire the best candidates for their team. In addition, they can also work to improve the company’s tech infrastructure so that it is better equipped to handle the demands of modern business.

The Emergence of Data-Driven Decision Making

The emergence of data-driven decision making is a trend that is quickly gaining popularity among businesses. This trend involves using data to make decisions rather than relying on intuition or experience.

As data becomes an increasingly important part of business, heads of finance will need to be able to understand and utilize it in order to make informed decisions. This requires a deep understanding of how to collect, analyze, and interpret data.

Finance Becomes More Digital

As finance becomes more digital, there is an increasing demand for professionals who have expertise in digital technologies. This includes skills such as data analytics, cloud computing, and cybersecurity.

Heads of finance can take advantage of this trend by becoming familiar with these technologies and learning how to use them effectively. This will allow them to keep up with the latest trends in the industry and provide value to their company.

How to Become a Head of Finance

A head of finance career can be a great way to advance your financial knowledge and skills. As a head of finance, you’ll have the opportunity to lead a team of professionals in areas such as accounting, treasury, and risk management. You’ll also be responsible for developing and implementing strategic plans that will help your organization reach its goals.

To become a head of finance, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of both the financial and business sides of an organization. This means having a thorough understanding of accounting principles, corporate finance, and economics. You’ll also need to be able to effectively communicate complex financial information to non-financial professionals.

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career in finance. One of the best ways is to get an advanced degree in finance or a related field. With an advanced degree, you will be able to apply for positions that are not otherwise open to you. For example, a finance manager with an MBA will be able to apply for positions as a financial analyst or a financial planner. Another way to advance your career is to get certified as a financial analyst or a financial planner. This will show potential employers that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful in these roles. Finally, you can advance your career by networking with other professionals in the finance industry. By networking, you will be able to learn about new opportunities and connect with people who can help you advance your career.

Head Of Finance Job Description Example

As the Head of Finance, you will be responsible for all aspects of financial management, including corporate accounting, regulatory and financial reporting, budget and forecasts preparation, as well as development of internal control policies and procedures. You will lead a team of finance professionals and will be a key member of the executive management team, working closely with the CEO and other department heads to make strategic decisions for the company. The Head of Finance will be a hands-on leader and will be responsible for ensuring that the company meets all its financial obligations and reporting requirements in a timely and accurate manner.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with the Board of Directors, CEO, CFO, and other members of the executive team
  • Oversee all aspects of the finance department, including but not limited to accounting, budgeting, forecasting, cash management, audit, tax, and treasury
  • Prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements in compliance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP)
  • Manage the organization’s investment portfolio and banking relationships
  • Develop and implement short- and long-term strategic plans to ensure financial sustainability
  • Identify opportunities for process improvement and operational efficiencies
  • Lead and oversee all aspects of the annual budgeting process
  • Monitor and report on key financial indicators, providing recommendations for corrective action when necessary
  • Negotiate and manage all financial contracts on behalf of the organization
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for auditors, investors, and lenders
  • Ensure compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations
  • Perform ad hoc analysis as needed to support decision-making across the organization

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in business, accounting, or related field
  • 10+ years proven accounting experience
  • Professional accounting certification, including CMA, CGA, or CA
  • Working knowledge of finance law and regulatory standards (GAAP)
  • Strong understanding of economic and banking processes
  • 5+ years experience as a senior-level accounting or finance manager

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Strong working knowledge of detailed financial data analysis
  • Proven payroll experience, with a focus on streamlining accounting processes
  • Exemplary history of financial project management
  • Working knowledge of federal, state, and local tax compliance regulations and reporting
  • CPA highly preferred


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