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How to Become a Financial Manager

Bachelor's or higher degree, plus work experience

Financial managers often have previous experience in a different financial or business occupation such as: an auditor, accountant, financial analyst, loan officer or securities sales agent. Typically, financial managers have a bachelor's degree and a minimum of 5 years or more experience in a related occupation.

Work Experience

Financial managers typically have experience in a different financial or business occupation including: financial analyst, loan officer, auditor or accountant and securities sales agent. Some companies offer formal management training programs to prepare highly skilled financial workers and motivated workers to become financial managers.

Education & Training

Many financial managers have a bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting, economics or finance. Many employers however, seek candidates who have obtained a master's degree; preferably in economics, finance or business administration. There are a variety of academic programs to help students learn software, financial analysis and analytical skills.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Even though professional certification is not always required, certain financial managers decide to obtain it in order to demonstrate their competence. The CFA or Chartered Financial Analyst certification is available through the CFA Institute. This designation is offered by investment professionals who have 4 years work experience, pass 3 exams and have a minimum of their bachelor's degree. The Association for Financial Professionals offers the Certified Treasury Professional for individuals who at least 2 years of relevant work experience and have passed an exam.

Skills and Qualities that will Help

Analytical Skills: Financial managers work at assisting executives with decision making thanks to their analytical abilities. They help determine decisions that affect their company.

Communication Skills: Financial managers need to justify and explain complex financial transactions; therefore, excellent communication skills are required.

Detail Oriented: Analyzing and preparing reports including income statements and balance sheets means that financial managers need to pay close attention to detail.

Math Skills: Math skills including algebra are a vital part of this career. Understanding complex financial documents and international finance is equally important.

Organizational Skills: Financial managers deal with numerous documents, information and therefore, need to stay organized in order to complete their jobs in an effective manner.