what is a finance manager?

Companies have access to a range of financial resources and handle huge cash flows. Hence, they require a finance manager to distribute and manage the finances. As a finance manager, you oversee an organization's finances. You ensure the company's financial health by managing investment activities and developing the organization's long-term financial goals.

As a finance manager, you are responsible for budget planning and distributing financial resources to various departments. You also offer advice to the executive management, helping them make the best business decisions for the company. Most of your duties revolve around presenting financial reports and offering insights into financial decisions made by the company, which requires analytical ability and exceptional communication skills.

While your main role is to monitor the company’s finances, you also analyze data on investment activities to ensure the organization is getting returns. You should also be familiar with the financial requirements of your company. For instance, in the public sector, you require expertise in government appropriations, while in other industries, you need knowledge of tax laws.

Would working as a finance manager suit your analytical and investigative skills? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a finance manager role.

finance manager jobs

average finance manager salary

According to Job Bank, the average salary of a finance manager is $130,870 per year. In an entry-level position, your salary starts at $90,756 annually, while experienced finance managers take home over $196,772 yearly.

what factors affect the salary of a finance manager?

As a finance manager, your earnings depend on your position in the company and the responsibilities involved. In large organizations, finance managers are in charge of substantial resources. You could be the finance manager of one division or supervise the financial resources of the entire company. When you are the chief finance manager, you earn more due to the complexity of your duties. Holding an executive position also comes with additional benefits that boost your earnings.

The industry you work in also influences your earnings. When you work in the government sector, your salary depends on your responsibilities and the size of the institutions you manage. Finance managers in the private sector generally earn higher salaries.

Your salary is also based on your educational qualifications and work experience. As an assistant finance manager, you earn a lower salary, which improves as you gain experience. Improving your qualifications with professional certifications also increases your earning potential.

download our salary guide

types of finance managers

Some of the types of finance managers include:

  • corporate finance managers: as a finance manager in charge of a company's finances, your duties include financial planning and analysis. You also manage the investment and financial obligations of the corporation.
  • investment managers: as an investment manager, you work in banks, firms and other financial institutions. You are responsible for managing the investment portfolios of the organization. You analyze market trends and make investment decisions.
  • treasury managers: as a treasury manager, you are responsible for the organization's cash liquidity. Companies or financial institutions rely on your expertise to ensure cash flow management. Your duties also include managing relationships with banks and evaluating debts and financing.
  • risk managers: as a risk manager, you are responsible for evaluating and managing potential risks that affect the company's financial health. You develop risk management strategies, ensure compliance with regulations, and monitor financial performance.
  • financial controllers: as a financial controller, you oversee the daily financial activities in the company. You supervise financial accounting and reporting by ensuring financial statements comply with accounting standards.
Man in suit having a conversation with woman
Man in suit having a conversation with woman

working as a finance manager

If you are good with numbers and interested in working in finance, check out the duties and responsibilities of finance managers.


finance manager skills and education

To work as a finance manager, you require the following educational qualifications:

  • bachelor’s degree: you require a bachelor’s degree in business administration, commerce or economics to become a finance manager. Most employers expect a master's degree in business administration, specializing in finance.
  • professional certifications: as a finance manager, you need several years of auditing and accounting experience. You should obtain professional certifications to improve your skills. Some financial management designations require a license in Canada. For instance, if you are a financial planner, you require a certification from Financial Planning Canada. Other certifications include Chartered Financial Analyst or Certified Management Accountant.

competencies and characteristics of finance managers

Finance managers rely on technical skills and personal attributes to excel in their roles. Some of the skills you require include:

  • analytical skills: having an analytical mindset is valuable for finance managers. You rely on your analytical skills to identify problems and find solutions. Analytical skills are also useful in analyzing market trends and finding investment opportunities.
  • leadership skills: you are a team leader who oversees the entire finance department. Your leadership skills are useful in delegating tasks and motivating team members toward reaching a common goal.
  • communication skills: finance managers communicate and liaise with various people. For instance, you communicate with cross-functional teams, executive managers and clients. Good communication and presentation skills are important in order to break down financial information into understandable language.
  • interpersonal skills: companies thrive on teamwork. As a finance manager, it is crucial to maintain good relationships with other employees. Be polite, empathetic and a good listener.


Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a finance manager.


meet a recruiter

Make sure your resume is up-to-date, including information about your technical skills and certifications. Then share it with us to connect with a recruiter and be matched with job opportunities.

thank you for subscribing to your personalised job alerts.