Financial Managers take care of the money side of businesses. They create budgets, do forward planning, report on how well (or how badly) businesses may be operating. They work out what investments or expenses can be approved or cut and then implement strategies to work helping organisations to keep running and ultimately boost profits.
If you’re mathematically inclined, love figures and spreadsheets, but also enjoy working with people, then it could be worth exploring a career as a Financial Manager.
- Advanced mathematical knowledge, great at compiling and analysing data, able to make sense of large volumes of financial information
- A high level of organisation is essential as is logical thinking and decisiveness
- Advanced technological skills required to use a variety of different programs and access information in different formats
- Meticulous attention to detail regarding figures (to the cent), laws and regulations
- As a manager you’ll also need to have strong leadership abilities, be able to work well as part of a team and also manage your workload independently
- Collect, interpret, and review financial information
- Monitor, review and manage budgets
- Predict financial and market trends then create informed forecasts and projections
- Writing reports and delivering them to other executives and stakeholders
- Advise on organisations future business decisions
- Produce long-term plans and strategies based on your reports to help the organisation to run more efficiently and effectively
- Identify and work towards minimising financial risks
- Making sure your organisation is operating and complying within the strict financial laws and standards
Lifestyle Impact: Medium
- Part Time opportunities: Low – only 14% of Financial Managers work part-time (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 46 hours a week which is above the average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Financial Managers salary (average) $119,000* per year (Source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary between industries, your role, and depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Strong (Source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Working as a Financial Manager comes with a high level of responsibility, you’ll have to work to deadlines and comply with lots of different laws, legislations and standards. You may have to work outside of normal office hours and learn how to deal with a variety of stressful situations managing finances, organisational expectations, and leading teams.
Financial Managers are most in demand in these locations:
80,900 people were employed in Financial Management in 2020 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au) so it’s a large occupation. There are work opportunities in most regions of Australia, but New South Wales employs around 40% of workers in this job. There is a possibility that in this role you could work remotely, but you may have to travel frequently to meet with teams and present findings.
How to become a Financial Manager in Australia
You’ll usually be required to have a university degree in finance, accounting, business or economics to be employed as Financial Manager. It doesn’t mean you can’t work as a Finance Manager without formal qualifications, but your path may take longer, and you’ll need to get lots of work experience to illustrate that you’re capable of doing the job.
Step 1 – Obtain your high school certificate, you’ll need English (critical for good communication) and high-level maths. Consider IT, accounting, business and economics studies which could also be useful. Check for university course prerequisites.
Step 2 – Complete relevant tertiary qualification, e.g.:
- Bachelor of Finance at Adelaide University
- Bachelor of Business (Honours) at UTS
- Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics (Honours) at UQ
You could also consider a related undergraduate degree, then completing a postgraduate qualification:
Many of the courses can also be completed online.
Step 3 – Ensure that your technology skills and knowledge of laws, legislations and standards are constantly refreshed and up to date.
Step 4 – Gain work experience and consider upskilling while you work, then applying for vacancies within the executive leadership and management teams.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Financial Managers do?
Financial Managers support higher level executives such as the Chief Financial Officer within an organisation. They help businesses to make informed financial decisions by providing guidance. They analyse strengths and weaknesses, identify and manage risks, make sure operations are legal and above board, create and monitor budgets, as well as exploring ways to increase revenue and reduce costs.
Which industries employ Financial Managers?
Most industries need Financial Managers however the largest number are employed in the financial and insurance services. Followed by professional, scientific and technical industries. Manufacturing, public administration and safety are also notable employers. (Source: ABS)
Do I need to go to university to become a Financial Manager?
It’s best to assume that you’ll need a university degree to competitively apply for most Financial Management positions.
If you’re determined and prepared to wait longer to reach your goals though, there are other pathways you could explore.
Where do Financial Managers work?
Financial Managers work in financial districts, within offices, branches or departments of most organisations. For example, you could be working in a bank, risk and insurance services, loan and credit businesses. You could also work remotely and be based at home.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Financial Manager?
If you’re at high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Financial Manager is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- Build on your leaderships and technology skills.
- Obtain work experience within a finance environment.
- Build a portfolio of your own finances that you can use to illustrate your skills.