Directors of finance are responsible for the finance activities of their assigned division or divisions. Finance directors work for corporations, consulting firms and nonprofit agencies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says, "Employment growth for financial managers is expected is to be about as fast as the average for all occupations. However, applicants will likely face strong competition for jobs. Those with a masters degree and a certification will have the best opportunities."
Finance director titles are used in both accounting and finance departments. However, they are responsible for compliance and regulatory issues pertaining to the financing activities of their organizations. The director of finance is involved with all financing sources for his assigned divisions. This includes activities related to stock and corporate bond activity, equity investors and all non-traditional financing sources.
Subject Matter Expert
The director of finance is the expert on compliance and regulatory issues related to finance. She will consult with counsel and executive leadership on proper financing activities and all necessary and required disclosures. The director of finance is responsible for adherence to the corporate finance policies, and reports any deviation to her direct supervisor. Most directors of finance report to the chief financial officer or the chief accounting officer.
Finance directors are responsible for all corporate forecasting. This includes sales and revenue forecasts as well as competitor forecasts. Finance directors build forecast models and metrics to accurately predict the outcome of a potential or proposed business transaction. These transactions may include expansions, mergers, acquisitions, capital projects or divestitures. These forecasts are usually developed for executive level leadership.
Strategic planning is a critical responsibility of directors of finance. Many capital expenditures, mergers and acquisitions and major expansions take months or years to plan. Strategic planning is vital in making these projects successful. Pro forma financial statements, projections and success metrics are all required for project approval. Planning for projects of this magnitude requires financial professionals with extensive education and work experience.
Directors of finance are responsible for some or all investment activities. Financing activity varies greatly depending on the size of a company, but all companies have some degree of investment activity. These investments could be as simple as a money market account or simple interest-bearing account. However, in large companies, investments may include corporate securities, annuities and taking stakes directly in other companies.
Management and Mentoring
The finance director manages the finance department employees. This includes the analysts, clerks and statisticians. The director of finance is responsible for directing the staff's activity and for assigning workload. The director of finance assists the recruiting department with finance staffing issues. Directors of finance must be solid managers and leaders. They are responsible for developing and mentoring their subordinates.
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