How to become a Financial Manager

Financial Manager

A financial manager works within a business and is in charge of its financial department. Employees in this position oversee all things money-related, including payroll, tax, and expenses, and work towards increasing profits. They are also in charge of the financial team. Financial managers’ roles used to focus more on reporting, but now the more... Read More »

A financial manager works within a business and is in charge of its financial department. Employees in this position oversee all things money-related, including payroll, tax, and expenses, and work towards increasing profits. They are also in charge of the financial team.

Financial managers’ roles used to focus more on reporting, but now the more menial tasks – like producing financial reports – are done by machines, freeing up financial managers’ time. They can use this time to look at ways that they can make profits for companies, avoid monetary trouble, and analyse data.

Being a finance manager is a role with high responsibility; employees in this position have access to sensitive information (the ingoings and outgoings of a company) and they might need to make decisions that could affect individual employees and the company as a whole. Finance managers must therefore be comfortable with accountability for the entire monetary operations of an organisation.

A financial manager’s duties include:

  • Being in charge of all of the businesses expenses, invoices, payroll and transactions and making decisions based on these financial operations.
  • Looking at the overall financial performance of the organisation and reporting on this to other people in the company.
  • Constantly working out ways to increase profits as a company.
  • Forecasting future finances and budget.
  • Giving budgets to different departments, depending on their individual needs and potential return on investment.
  • Calculating whether the business is in any financial risk and, if so, working out ways to avoid financial peril.
  • Managing the finance team.
  • Overseeing auditing and taxes; although this will generally be done by an accountant.

Depending on the industry, a financial manager may need some specific knowledge involving the field, and potentially even vocational experience.

All financial managers will need to show impeccable financial abilities throughout their career. Financial manager education requirements are to have a degree in finance or a related subject (mathematics, economics, and statistics are all generally considered acceptable) and membership of a professional finance board. Many potential financial managers also choose to do a masters degree in finance to further deepen their knowledge.

Before becoming a financial manager, candidates will need to get strong experience in the financial field, potentially working as a financial assistant or accountant before assuming a managerial position. Applicants for financial manager jobs will be expected to have excellent knowledge of monetary subjects, and some experience supervising or managing is also very beneficial.

Financial managers must have excellent attention to detail, as they will often be responsible for discovering small things that can change a business’s financial fortune. They should also be exceptionally organised, as they will need to balance different types of finances, and have outstanding communication skills, as they will need to both manage a team and report to the senior managers of the company.

What degree is most commonly held by a Financial Manager?


  • BA / MA of Accounting
  • BA / MA of Accounting & Finance
  • BA / MA of Finance
  • BA / MA of Business Administration and Management
  • BA / MA of Accounting and Business/Management
  • BA / MA of Economics
  • BA / MA of Business Administration

Career Transportability across Countries


Transportability: Medium
Working in finance does often require specific country-only knowledge, so it is naturally easier for a financial manager to find work in their home country. However, experienced financial managers who have a good knowledge of international finance and are willing to learn about a country’s culture may find work overseas. Remote work is also a possibility; some companies are willing to hire people anywhere in the world for this kind of vacancy.

What is the Salary of a Financial Manager?

ExperienceEducationAverage salary | year
AU$UK£US$
Finance Manager1-3 yrs€52,334£50,000$105,000
Finance Manager3-5 yrs€63,352£55,000$115,500
Finance Director5-10 yrs€83,509£72,500$152,25

What skills are needed to become a Financial Manager?


  • Accounting
  • Financial Analysis
  • Financial Reporting
  • Management
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Finance
  • Budgets
  • Microsoft Office
  • Financial Accounting
  • Forecasting
  • Strategic Planning
  • Leadership
  • Managerial Finance
  • Customer Service
  • Auditing
  • Internal Controls
  • Project Management
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Microsoft Word
  • Accounts Payable
  • Financial Modeling
  • Analysis
  • Budgeting
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Business Strategy

Financial Manager

Candidates who are wondering how to become a financial manager would benefit from taking supplementary courses about finance. At FutureLearn, we have courses about financial management in all areas from risk management to understanding financial statements.

  • Understanding Financial Concepts

    Prepare for a wide range of roles in the finance industry with an introduction to fundamental financial concepts

  • Understanding Financial Statements

    Learn how to make better business decisions with financial information

  • Finance Fundamentals: Financial Planning and Budgeting

    With household budgets feeling the pinch this course shows how to bring order to your finances and make good financial decisions

Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?

We partner with over 170 world-class universities, institutions and industry leaders to create world-class courses to help you with your career. Whether you’re just starting out, wanting to deepen your knowledge or change direction, FutureLearn and our partners can help. These are just a few of our world-leading partners.