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How To Become A Financial Director After Earning An MBA

Financial Director

The finance industry is among the most popular destinations for MBAs to seek employment following graduation—finance and accounting make up 22 percent of all MBA jobs and more than 84 percent of finance and accounting firms planned on hiring MBA graduates in 2016.

What type of jobs are available? We previously covered the Financial Manager career. U.S. News has ranked it as the fourth “Best Business Job” available today. Other popular post-MBA jobs in the area of finance include financial analyst, financial advisor and financial director.

Financial Directors are very similar to Financial Managers. In short, finance directors are responsible for maximizing the return on financial assets by establishing financial policies, procedures, controls and reporting systems. They are responsible for leading managers of the division and indirectly responsible for all employees within the division. Financial directors oversee cost and general accounting, accounts receivable/collection and payroll and risk management and ensures the department is running legally and within regulations.

Financial Director Job Roles and Essential Functions

According to the Society for Human Resources Management, financial directors are responsible for the following essential functions:

  • Guides financial decisions by establishing, monitoring and enforcing policies and procedures.
  • Protects assets by establishing, monitoring and enforcing internal controls.
  • Maximizes return and limits risk on cash by minimizing cash balances and making investments.
  • Provides status of financial condition of the company by collecting, interpreting and reporting key financial data.
  • Ensures compliance with federal, state and local legal requirements by researching existing and new legislation, consulting with outside advisors, and filing financial reports. Advises management of actions and potential risks.
  • Arranges for audits as required and appropriate.
  • Manages budget and controls expenses effectively.
  • Hires, trains, develops and appraises staff effectively. Takes corrective action as necessary on a timely basis and in accordance with company policy. Consults with Human Resources as appropriate.
  • Keeps up-to-date on information and technology affecting functional area(s) to increase innovation and ensure compliance.

In order to effectively complete these tasks and functions, financial directors must exhibit skills in financial management, strategic thinking, business acumen, ethical conduct, technical capacity and performance management.

Financial Director Salary

According to Payscale, finance directors earns an average of $108,460 per year, and can expect pay raises as they gain more experienced workers. Pay raises begin to decline once an employee as more than 20 years’ experience under their belt. The highest paid financial directors live in San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles and New York City.

Educational Requirements

A minimum of a BA is necessary to break into this field, but an MBA/CPA or related degree is ideal, along with at least seven to 10 years of overall professional experience with six-plus years of broad financial and operations management experience. MBA should look into pursuing Finance MBAs or concentrations in finance to get even more insight and in-depth knowledge of the field.

You can find Finance MBAs at many top business schools, including ones in the San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and London metros.

What about a Master’s in Finance? We recently compared MBAs in Finance and a Masters in Finance and found that an MBAs offer a wider range of choices for their career post-graduation. They can seek a variety of different positions within the finance field and outside of the field.

“The MBA, particularly those from elite schools, offer something else—exit options,” according to eFinancialCareers. “A lot of people take MBAs with the aim of advancing their finance career, but end up moving into another sector entirely, particularly if they attend an elite school where a range of employers swoop on MBA candidates during various networking and recruitment events. An MBA offers that unrivaled diversity of career options.”

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About the Author

Max Pulcini
Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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