Corporate financial managers, also called Chief Financial Officers (CFO) or Controllers, fulfill a wide range of functions related to the financial performance and sustainability of the companies they serve. A CFO is often one of the most senior officers in a firm, putting in long hours and a displaying a total commitment to the success of the organization. According to payscale.com, the average salary range for top level financial managers is between $80,000 and $180,000 per year.
Corporate financial managers serve as the highest authority in all finance-related departments, including accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable and the internal audit department. Top departmental managers in these areas often report directly to the financial manager, who must be thoroughly knowledgeable about the policies, procedures, current issues and staff members of these departments. Top-level financial managers may be responsible for candidate selection and promotion for top departmental management positions as well.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial managers are responsible for the creation and submission of quarterly and annual reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), as well as the release of quarterly earnings figures. They are often tasked with drafting extensive explanations of financial statement line items in the appendixes of an annual report and are regularly subjected to serious legal scrutiny regarding the honesty and accuracy of company filings and news releases.
Crafting and communicating long-term financial strategies in the best interest of the organization is the domain of the financial manager. Such events as mergers and acquisitions, stock offerings and dividend declarations can have enormous impact on the success of a company. Corporate debt structure, accounting practices and tax management are included in a financial managers' strategic responsibilities.
Corporate investment strategies such as the management of employee retirement accounts, the purchase or sale of capital equipment and real estate and the maintenance of interest and capital gains income is ultimately the responsibility of the financial managers, although Chief Executive Officers (CEO) and board members are likely to have a good deal of input on these matters as well.
As the individual responsible for having a comprehensive understanding of a company's finances, financial managers must be available to speak with reporters, government authorities, stockholders, employees and other company shareholders to address any questions or concerns they may have regarding the company's financial position, policies or future expectations. This responsibility can be tricky, as the line between the fiduciary duty to protect company information and the legal responsibility to provide financial transparency can be thin and difficult to discern at times.
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