Three Beneficial Skills to Have for a Successful Career in Financial Management

The role of a financial manager is essential for any business that relies on incoming and outgoing funds to keep its organization progressing forward. A financial manager wears many hats, and their understanding of accounting principles, reporting, and financial planning provides a central hub that corporate management can go to whenever they have ideas for expansion or a need to improve their sales tactics.

If you are interested in being a financial manager, it is important to remember that it is more than just the ability to delegate responsibilities and crunch numbers. You will also need strong reporting skills, problem-solving prowess, and the ability to explain complex processes to management heads and financial stakeholders in terms they can understand. Let’s look at some skills you should have and how they apply to this exciting position.

Verbal Skills

When it comes to financial management, verbal communication is a key soft skill you need, both with your staff and with external clients that you may work alongside. When you work with your team, you will need to delegate assignments in such a way that they understand their task while creating the appropriate sense of urgency. To add to this, a financial manager must also be highly organized to ensure that all required tasks are assigned, and nothing is left behind.

When speaking to new employees or customers, you will need the ability to explain complex financial issues and concepts without jargon so they are easier to understand. You may be responsible for reporting information to upper management, and it is important to remember that they have many projects on their plate and they may not understand financial terms and plans as well as you do. If you ever speak to customers, you will need to practice this same translation of facts. Customers don’t like to feel dumb, and if they do, they may not only misunderstand the product as explained, they might go elsewhere for services and products.

Communication will be key when collaborating with your team to come up with solutions or new methods of assisting the company. In addition to being able to brainstorm, you will need to learn that every employee thinks differently, and if you can harness that individuality, you can come up with great solutions. For instance, some people like to come up with ideas on their own and bring them to the meeting, while others like to bounce ideas off of one another. One brainstorming method that combines these is mind mapping, which involves writing a problem and then creating branching paths of different solutions. This is a way to ensure that everyone feels that their option is valued.

Written Skills

While communication is an important soft skill, proper written communication is an essential hard skill, as is the case when creating and presenting financial reports. This is one of the many hard skills required of a financial manager, and you will need to do it well. Whether you are describing the company’s finances or discussing profit and loss summaries, you will need to be very detail-oriented but also clear in what you are presenting. Any financial report should include a summary page that provides a general overview of what the report holds and how it benefits the company.

Another important job task that you will want to master is the ability to create effective budgets. Would you be able to take a large sum of money and allot it properly across a large organization? Along with this, you will need to comprehend the concept of cash flow by not only understanding how much money is available now, but what will be available in the future.

Financial planning will be a major aspect of the job functions of a financial manager. It means understanding short and long-term goals and figuring out how you can allocate funds to turn these proposals into a reality. If the money simply is not available, you also need to be able to explain the issue while coming up with potential solutions. What could the company do to increase its cash flow? Once again, effective brainstorming can give you the answers.

Problem Solving Skills

As a financial manager, you will be faced with many complex situations, and you will be counted on to guide the powers that be. To get there, you will need to learn to think analytically to see what others cannot. That means looking for discrepancies, patterns, and missing data that is necessary to paint a better picture.

While the years go by, technology will continue to advance in all areas, including finance, and a good manager will need to keep up with the times so they can do better work and solve problems. In addition to the accounting software used at your organization, you need to understand Microsoft Excel. In addition to formatting and entering text, you will need to learn how to use keyboard shortcuts, formulas, table creation, and more. If you are looking into working in the world of finance, knowledge of Excel and how to present information will be mandatory.

Finally, as a financial manager, you have to understand that sometimes problem-solving means making tough decisions. If the company is low on funds, the only answer may be to downsize, and you may have to suggest it to the board. If someone on your own team is making company-damaging mistakes, they may have to be let go, and you may have to do the dismissal. However, it should be said that if you master the other skills listed above, you should have a well-rounded and fully capable team so firings should be few and far between.

These are some of the skills you will need to be an effective finance manager. Pair these with the lessons you learn during your schooling, and you will have set yourself up for success.

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