Finance Manager

Introduction

As a Finance Manager, it is your responsibility to provide accurate financial advice and support to your management team, helping them to make sensible, informed business decisions. You may manage a finance team consisting of several people.

Also known as

  • Finance Director

Video: - Bernie D: Finance Manager

Video: - Sarah B: Finance Manager

Video: - Bernie D: Finance Manager

Work Activities

As a Finance Manager, it is your responsibility to provide accurate financial advice and support to your management team, helping them to make sensible, informed business decisions.

You may manage a finance team consisting of several people, including Accountants, Accounting Technicians and Accounts Assistants.

Finance Managers are employed in many different areas and organisations, including:

  • shops and other retail outlets
  • manufacturing companies
  • charities
  • universities
  • political parties
  • banks

Your main duties as a Finance Manager include:

  • providing financial advice to management and top executives
  • financial planning
  • producing financial reports
  • carrying out internal and external audits
  • monitoring, interpreting and challenging financial results
  • target setting
  • preparing payroll reports
  • analysing market trends to identify potential opportunities for your business

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Finance Manager, you should have:

  • good written and spoken communication skills
  • great number skills
  • an interest in how organisations work
  • great managerial and leadership skills
  • IT skills

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £40,000 - £48,000
  • With experience: £56,000 - £72,000
  • Senior Finance Managers earn £82,500 - £97,000

Hours of work

Finance Managers usually work 35-40 hours Monday to Friday. However, you might need to work late or at weekends at peak times, for example, at the end of the financial year.

Where could I work?

Finance Managers are employed in many different areas and organisations, including:

  • shops and other retail outlets
  • manufacturing companies
  • charities
  • universities
  • political parties
  • banks

Opportunities for Finance Managers occur in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers and professional magazines, on accountancy job boards and employers' websites, on WorkTrack, Find a Job and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

To become a Finance Manager you will normally train and qualify as an Accountant and/or have a degree in accountancy, finance or business studies.

A good place to start is studying for an Institute of Financial Services (IFS) level 3 diploma in financial studies. You will need to find a college that offers this subject.

However, it is also possible to work your way up through the different roles in a finance department, studying as you go and gaining vital work experience.

You might be able to follow the progression route below:

  • Accounts Assistant
  • Accounting Technician
  • Accountant
  • Finance Manager

To qualify as an Accountant, you need to register with one of the appropriate professional bodies. You then combine on-the-job training with part-time study and written exams.

The relevant bodies are:

  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

If you have completed at least two A levels, including one in a relevant subject, then you might be able to begin training as an Accounting Technician. As an Accounting Technician you will be trained and study for professional exams.Then once you are fully qualified, you might be able to train further and become a fully qualified Accountant. Once you have gained plenty of relevant work experience you can then move into a Finance Manager position.

Or you could choose to go onto university, to study a relevant degree. Some employers require you to have a degree before you become a Finance Manager. Degrees in relevant subjects are available at many universities. In order to get onto a degree course you will usually need at least two A levels.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Work Experience

Some applicants have relevant skills in, for example, numerical work and/or office administration which would be really useful for this career.

Qualifications

For entry to a degree course or Degree Apprenticeship, the usual minimum requirement is:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 2/3 other subjects

Alternatives to A levels include:

  • BTEC level 3 qualification in 'business (specialist - finance)' or 'business with accounts and finance'
  • City and Guilds level 2 and 3 qualifications in 'providing financial services' and 'business finance'
  • the International Baccalaureate Diploma

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least five GCSEs at A* -C or 9-4, including English and maths.

For registration with a chartered accountancy body, the usual minimum requirement is:

  • 2 A levels
  • GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in 3 other subjects
  • English and maths at either level

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Entry

The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) offers a Certificate in Business Accounting. This course is aimed at people with little or no accounting background and can provide entry to higher level professional qualifications.

Candidates without relevant qualifications can study with ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). However, your entry point and exemptions from certain parts of their qualifications depend on the qualifications or relevant skills you have already gained.

The Open University offers a Certificate in Accounting, which also provides entry to higher level professional qualifications.

The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) offers a route to qualification for people without the usual entry requirements if they have three years' experience and support from their employer.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (for example, Access to Business) could be the way in. These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Some local colleges of further education offer professional courses, for example, ACCA qualifications, on a part-time basis, either day, evening or weekends.

Funding

Sponsorships from some of the larger accounting or professional services firms can be available for those studying degree-level courses.

Distance learning

Distance learning is available from CIMA, ACCA and CIPFA. Postgraduate qualifications are available by distance learning from a number of universities.

Further Information

Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)

Address: 26 Chapter Street, London SW1P 4NP

Tel: 020 8849 2251

Email: cima.contact@cimaglobal.com

Website: www.cimaglobal.com

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)

Address: 3 Robert Street, London WC2N 6RL

Tel: 020 7543 5600

Email: corporate@cipfa.org

Website: www.cipfa.org

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

Tel: 01908 248250

Email: contactus@icaew.com

Website: www.icaew.com

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: 3rd Floor, Lesley Exchange 2, 22 East Bridge Street, Belfast BT1 3NR

Tel: 028 9026 6770

Email: nitraining@cipfa.org

Website: www.cipfa.org/Regions/Northern-Ireland

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Scotland

Scottish enquiries

Address: Beaverbank Business Park, 22 Logie Mill, Edinburgh EH7 4HG

Tel: 0131 5507530

Email: scotland@cipfa.org

Website: www.cipfa.org/Regions/Scotland

ACCA Careers Job Board

Tel: 0141 534 4774

Email: jobboardsupport@accaglobal.com

Website: www.accacareers.com

Financial Skills Partnership (FSP)

Skills for the financial, finance and accountancy sectors

Address: 51 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HQ

Tel: 0845 2573772

Email: info@financialskillspartnership.org.uk

Website: www.financialskillspartnership.org.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

People Exchange Cymru (PEC)

Public sector recruitment portal for Wales

Email: peopleexchangecymru@gov.wales

Website: www.peopleexchangecymru.org.uk/home

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