Financial managers oversee and coordinate the various financial activities and transactions of organizations. Their responsibilities may vary by company or industry, but they may need to prepare income statements, budgets and balance sheets, monitor cash flow and oversee accounting and auditing. Also, they can play an important role in ensuring that a company is complying with regulatory requirements by being familiar with these regulations.
Financial Manager Schools
A four-year degree helps students to develop an aptitude to be successful in the financial management field, including in areas such as math, accounting and numbers and analysis. Furthermore, a master's degree may be preferred by some employers, according to the BLS. Financial management training programs are available across the country, including at:
- Clemson University: Reporting that its graduates are highly recruited in the east, this Clemson, S.C. university gives students a chance to pursue a bachelor of science in financial management degree, but also to choose between one of four areas of emphasis. The university reports that graduates have gone on to find jobs at Bank of America, SunTrust Bank and TD Bank.
- University of Colorado Denver: A bachelor's of science in business administration with a concentration in financial management is available at this school, but the program integrates a curriculum that should help students to prepare to work toward Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
- Northeastern University: Whether you want to take classes on campus at this Boston-based school or prefer the online option, you can work toward a bachelor of science in finance and accounting management on a fast-track pace. Additionally, the program has four different start dates each year.
- DeVry University: For those interested in advancing their knowledge, the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University offers a master of accounting and financial management (MAFM) degree. This program not only incorporates campus-based and online learning, but also Becker CPA Exam Review curriculum.
- University of Buffalo: This New York university offers a master of science degree in finance with a financial management track that can be completed in three full-time semesters and concludes with a capstone project. However, admission is available only in the fall.
Financial Management Courses
Financial management schools like these help students to build knowledge in a wide variety of content areas, including financial markets, investments, accounting and more, particularly through the use of case studies. In a bachelor's degree program, students may learn how to:
- Develop their analytical skills
- Gain an understanding of financial analysis
- Go over reports and identify ways to save
- Prepare forecasts, financial statements and other reports
- Understand regulatory requirements and ensure they are being met
Internships also may be available while you're completing your degree, which can give you a great work experience before you get to your full-time career. Additionally, completion of a capstone project is required at the master's level.
Financial Manager Certification and Licensing
Although a bachelor's degree is typically enough to enter the field of financial management, certification and licensing can greatly improve your opportunities, especially in a competitive job market. Certification can be found through the following programs:
- CFA Institute - Offers the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation
- The Association for Financial Professionals - Offers a Certified Treasury Professional credential
Passing an exam, or multiple exams, is required for both certifications, and related work experience also is required. Licensing is not necessary to enter the financial management field, but some individuals may wish to become or may already be working as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). After a person passes the CPA exam and meets needed education requirements, they can apply for this license through their state board of accountancy. However, the BLS suggests that prior work experience is particularly advantageous to becoming a financial manager.
Resources for Financial Managers
- Association for Financial Professionals
- CFA Institute
- Financial Management Association International
- Financial Managers Society
- Becoming a CPA, National Association of State Boards of Accountancy, no date. http://nasba.org/education/becomingacpa/
- Financial Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes113031.htmt
- Financial Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/financial-managers.htm
- BS in Business Administration Financial Management. http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/business/degrees/bachelor/Pages/financial-management.aspx
- Financial Management B.S., Clemson University. http://www.clemson.edu/degrees/financial-management
- Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting Management, Northeastern University College of Professional Studies.http://www.cps.neu.edu/degree-programs/undergraduate/bachelors-degrees/bachelors-finance-accounting-management.php
- Master Accounting and Financial Management, DeVry University. http://www.keller.edu/graduate-degree-programs/masters-degree-programs/masters-accounting-and-financial-management.html
- Financial Management Track. University of Buffalo. https://mgt.buffalo.edu/degree-programs/master-of-science-ms/finance/financial-management.html