Financial managers are responsible oversee the financial health of all types of organizations, both public and private. Financial management professionals produce detailed financial reports, direct investment activities, and generally devise strategies to promote the long term financial health of their company or organization.
What Is Financial Management?
Financial management is a very diverse field with many exciting opportunities for professionals who want to assist people and companies to succeed financially. Financial management involves many different careers, with the most common being financial manager, financial analyst, personal financial advisor, financial examiner and other related fields.
Professionals in financial management must stay current on financial and economic developments in their field and industry, as well as nationally and globally. They also must track and predict possible changes in the economic climate to stay competitive and enhance profits.
In financial management, professionals typically will handle some or all of the following roles:
- Perform analysis of market trends to potentially increase profits
- Monitor financial matters and details in an organization to ensure legal compliance
- Handle the preparation of financial documents and statements
- Research and recommend various investments
- Provide reviews of company reports and suggest ways to be more financially efficient
- Determine possible economic trends and potential business opportunities
The employment opportunities in financial management and operations continue to grow steadily. The Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS states that job growth in this sector will increase by a healthy 8% by 2024. In total, it is anticipated that there will be approximately 632,000 new jobs added in the coming years.
A more rigorous and strict regulatory environment is leading to higher demand for more financial professionals, including financial managers, advisors, auditors and accountants.
In specific financial management and related careers, job demand is often rising more rapidly. For example, a financial management degree can lead you to work in these growing occupations:
- Financial analyst: Provide financial and economic guidance to individuals and people who make investment decisions. Assess ongoing performance of stocks and bonds, as well as various other types of investments. These finance professionals can buy side analysts, who develop new investment strategies for companies; or sell side analysts who provide advice to financial sales agents. Job growth is projected at 12% by 2024.
- Financial manager: Responsible for the financial health of a company or organization. They are responsible for producing financial reports, directing investment activities, and devising effective strategies for the long-term financial goals of the enterprise. Financial managers may work as chief financial officers, controllers, treasurers, credit managers or risk managers. Job growth for financial managers will be 7% by 2024, which is faster than average.
- Loan officer: Evaluate, authorize and recommend loan approvals for both private individuals and companies. They use underwriting to assess if the applicant can be approved for the loan. Loan officers collect and verify all of the financial documents needed to make a decision. Then they work with underwriters to determine if the applicant will be able to pay back the loan reliably. Job outlook in this field is solid at 8% growth by 2024.
- Financial examiner: Responsible for ensuring that the organization is in compliance with relevant state and federal laws that govern financial organizations and financial transactions. They handle the review of profit and loss statements, balance sheets, evaluate financial risk, and help with bank management. Also, review and analyze new federal and state laws to determine how they affect the organization. Job growth is expected to be 10% by 2024.
- Personal financial advisor: Provide customized advice on insurance, mortgages, investments, estate planning, taxes and retirement to help people to manage their finances effectively. Help clients to plan for both their short and long-term goals, which can include meeting college expenses and saving for their retirement with investments in the stock market or real estate. Employment in this field will be very strong in future years, with 30% growth by 2024.
- Accountant: These professionals also are known as auditors. They prepare and review financial and tax documents. These financial records are checked for accuracy and it is made sure that taxes are paid in full and on time. Accountants and auditors also are responsible for assessing financial operations and ensuring that the organization is operating smoothly from a financial perspective.
- Management analyst: Propose ways for organizations to enhance their efficiency. They also provide advice to managers on ways to make organizations more profitable by cutting costs and boosting revenues. Many management analysts work for large consulting companies, while others may be self-employed. Job growth for management analysts will be 14% by 2024, which is faster than average.
The exact career path for a financial management career will hinge upon the exact type of position you have. For financial managers, the largest employers as of 2016 were in the following sectors:
- Finance and insurance: 29%
- Company and enterprise management: 12%
- Professional, technical and scientific services: 11%
- Manufacturing companies: 8%
- Government organizations: 8%
Different parts of the country also may have more financial management opportunities than others. These cities are reported to have the greatest salary potential for professionals in the financial management sector:
- New York City: $170,100
- San Francisco: $156,400
- Sarasota: $153,200
- San Jose: $152,600
- Los Angeles: $142,900
- Philadelphia: $140,610
- Washington, DC: $139,270
- Colorado Springs: $139,040
- Houston: $138,080
- Charlotte: $134,100
A financial management degree will offer you the chance to work for many of the top companies in the country, including:
- Capital One
- Allianz Life Insurance Co.
- Goldman Sachs
- Robert W. Baird
- Edward Jones
- American Express
A bachelor’s degree in financial management will give you the entry level management skills to analyze the financial performance of an organization, and to ensure that it is in strong financial shape.
You will be acquiring financial management knowledge that is in demand in areas such as forecasting, financial analysis, managing portfolios, international finance and cash management.
A master’s degree in financial management will offer you the advanced finance skills to obtain an upper level or corporate level position in accounting and finance. You will learn advanced accounting and finance skills, managerial accounting, financial analysis, auditing both operationally and externally, and taxation.
Most senior level managers in finance-related positions have either a graduate level financial management degree or MBA.
A large number of financial management professionals who go back to school choose to earn their degree online. Today there are hundreds of solid online options to earn either a bachelor’s or master’s degree in financial management.
DeVry University offers a solid Masters in Accounting and Financial Management that will put you in the strong position for leadership roles in financial management.
To be admitted into a financial management master’s program, you can expect these types of qualifications:
- 75 GPA or higher
- College transcripts
- Prerequisite courses in mathematics, statistics, accounting and finance
- GMAT or GRE score may be mandatory
- Three letters of recommendation
- Resume detailing your level of financial management experience
- Writing samples
Typical courses that are required at the master’s level in financial management are:
- Financial and managerial accounting
- Financial regulation and ethics
- Quantitative methods for finance
- Corporate finance
- Financial markets and institutions
- Mergers and Acquisitions
- Investment analysis and portfolio management
- Fixed income analysis
- Case studies in current corporate financial topics
- Project management
- Global supply chains
Many master’s programs in this field offer specializations or concentrations. Some of the most common are:
- International finance: Designed for finance professionals who work with multinational corporations and international financial markets.
- Investment analysis: Intended for professionals who work in investment research, risk management, security selection and portfolio management.
- Corporate finance: Made for students who intend to work specifically in the corporate finance sector, with a focus on corporate financial theory.
- Enterprise risk management: Provides business managers and public workers with skills they need to devise and execute plans for various emergencies and disasters.
- Supply chain management: Covers the key parts of operations management, and also state of the art tools that are used to design and manage global supply chains.
Most universities offering financial management degrees offer financial assistance in the form of loans, grants, and scholarships. There also are many external scholarships that you may qualify for:
- BNSF Railway Company FFA Scholarship: $5000
- Church and Dwight Company FFA Scholarship: $1000
- Citigroup Fellows Program: $6400
- Herman J. Smith Scholarship: $2000
- HSF/Marathon Oil Corporation College Scholarship: $15,000
- HSF/Verizon Foundation Scholarship: $2500
- Richard D. Wiegers Scholarship: $1000
- Robert Half International: Various amounts
- Wells Fargo Scholarship: $2500
The following certifications are worthy of your consideration in the financial management field to enhance your career options:
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA)
- Financial Risk Manager (FRM)
- Certified Credit Professional (CCP)
- Certified Treasury Professional (CTP)
- Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
Financial management professionals may benefit from associating with the following groups and associations:
- Association for Financial Professionals (AFP)
- American Finance Association (AFA)
- Society of Financial Service Professionals (SFSP)
- Institute of Management Accountants (IMA)
- American Financial Services Association (AFSA)
- Financial Professionals Association (FPA)
The financial management field is experiencing robust growth. With a financial management degree, you will have an excellent chance to enjoy a financially rewarding career with plenty of potential for promotion.
- Financial Managers. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
- Top Paying Cities in Finance. (2013, April). Retrieve from http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/on-numbers/scott-thomas/2013/04/pay-in-group-024.html
- DeVry University. Master of Accounting and Financial Management. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.keller.edu/graduate-degree-programs/masters-degree-programs/masters-accounting-and-financial-management.html