Financial Management is a business specialty in which an individual helps an organization to make routine financial decisions. (It is important to note that financial management is not considered to be an accounting specialty, but is instead a subfield of business that is closely related to skills and principles taught in accounting school.) Financial managers analyze financial documents, as well as analyze an organization’s current investments and its investment opportunities in order to determine if the return that the organization may earn is worth the risk. In addition, financial managers design management plans to cut costs; help the organization to acquire the funding that it needs to carry out its day to day operations; help the organization to establish its budget; help the organization to define its financial goals and determine the best way for the organization to achieve those goals; identify areas in which the organization’s resources are being misused or wasted; identify methods that the organization can use to legally lower its tax burden; identify methods that an organization can use to improve the security of its assets; implement management procedures to monitor the organization’s financial resources and improve the way that those resources are allocated; and perform other similar tasks.
Individuals in financial management are typically required to perform a number of different tasks that vary form position to position, and an individual may be given any of a number of different job titles depending on the specific responsibilities of the position. Some of the more common job titles for an individual in financial management include financial analyst, financial controller, financial manager, financial officer, financial planner, chief financial officer, and staff accountant.
The specific degree that an individual must have to obtain a position in financial management varies from position to position. Many employers require an individual to have one of the following:
- bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance with a series of courses in business administration,
- a bachelor’s degree in business with an accounting concentration or an accounting certificate,
- a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), or
- another similar degree from an accredited accounting school.
Some employers may also require an individual to obtain a Certified Business Manager (CBM) certificate, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certificate, a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) certificate, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License, a Certified Manager (CM) certificate, and/or another similar certificate.