The career I chosen for my future career is a finance manager in third sector organisations. These organisations are neither public nor private and are non-profit organisation. This industry is rapidly growing and is generating many opportunities for different roles in different fields.
Estimating the capital or income and expenses, preparing budget and taking control is my interest. I usually play a treasury role since my secondary school in my classes and am always a treasury between my friends. I make sure everything is systematic and under control. Financial management is managing the assets and liabilities, looking forward and applying strategic plan to survive. Financial managers have to prepare financial planning to reach organisation’s financial goals. These functions are relevant to my interests. A financial manager must deals with number, calculates and applies those numbers in formulas to analyse the organisation situation. I have strong numeracy skill and more importantly, enjoy dealing with numbers and formulas, evaluating and estimating.
A financial manager in third sector organisation (TSO) is important to that organisation. He forecasts the income and expense and provide the information for the control process. TSOs need to derive funds from different sources to run their operations and make budget surplus which will be reinvested in the operations for the growth. According to National Council for Voluntary Organisation, two main sources of incomes are from individual and statutory bodies (https://www.ncvo.org.uk). TSOs use their income for wellbeing of the public.
This includes support to homeless, programme of eradicating poverty and unliterary in least development countries, humanitarian help and so on. TSOs are rapidly growing and operating from local to national and international level. National Audit Office states that third sector organisations are independent of government, same value and beliefs gather them together to be an organisations and work for the same goals which may be environmental or economic well-being (https://www.nao.org.uk).
The main duty of a finance manager is preparing financial report which may be monthly and/or annually and present to top management. He will need to check daily financial operation, invoices and transactions, critically analyse the financial situation of the organisation and draw budgetary plan. He must guide his staffs for the preparation of the reports and check the details so that everything is correct and legal. He must find a solution to minimise financial problems, engage and advise top management to make decision. In some conditions, he may need to set financial procedures within the department. As a manager, he has to evaluate and solve the conflicts between employees.
The minimum requirement of the role is bachelor degree in finance or accounting. Some employers require master degree. Three years of working experience is essential for management position. Qualifications from professional bodies and familiarity with some accounting software will be an advantage. Strong numeracy and detail orientation are required along with effective communication and presentation skills. Proficiency in Microsoft Office, especially Excel is a must.
Being a finance manager after some years of experience has chances of promotion to higher position such as regional and national finance manager, chief financial officer and financial director. As an additional qualification, qualifications from external professional bodies such ACCA, CIMA can be obtained to equip and develop for higher positions in the organisation. Further study to master and PhD will be required to under those positions. Other specialised training will be provided according to the demand of the working environment.
One of the most important skill for a finance manager is problem solving and critical analysis. The investigation of root cause and evaluation of the pros and cons of solutions is one of my strengths. Along with this strong numeracy is required. Based on the different invoices, payment documents and transactions, finance manager prepare financial statements. Financial positions is then calculated by applying these numbers into formulas. According to QAA skills rating, I have strong numeric skill and believe I will be efficient if I have enough opportunities to learn. Financial manager must be multitasked and working to deadline. Self-management skill in my QAA skill rating indicates, this area is one of my strengths. These two areas can be converted into greatest driven force to my career.
Finance managers not only deals with numbers but also deals with people. They will need to explain financial conditions to superior and give instructions to their staffs. Explain the information and giving information needs detail orientation so that nothing is missed. With the past experience of working as data entry, I can focus on details information and communicating with different level of employers enhanced my communication skills. Working experience in two countries at different companies moulded me to be able to work with people from different cultures. Finance manager must have ability to work collaboratively with colleagues from different departments to achieve the financial goals of the organisation. Working collaboratively and learning from colleagues is one of my strong skills as seen in QAA skills rating.
Computer literacy is a must skill for a finance manager. Finance manager will spend most of his time by using computer. This include using accounting software, preparing the financial reports and presenting to the top management. He must be proficient in Microsoft Excel as it is the major tool used in that career. That this area is the main area that needs to be developed. My proficiency in Excel is not good enough to be a finance manager. To be a successful manager, both positional and personal power are required. The best way to get personal power is building and maintaining relationship with the staffs. This is also one my weaknesses along with managing people. People in managerial level must have commercial acumen to aware of the business’s driven factors. I still need to sharpen that skill as of my QAA skill rating
To be a finance manager is a long-term career goal for me. Firstly I need to secure an industry placement next year and get at least a 2:1 degree in my course to undertake this role. Before finishing my degree, I will develop my computer literacy especially excel. Practising the spreadsheet work from management accounting course repeatedly and other self-study will enhance the skill during my course. I will actively and deeply participate in group projects to increase my communication skills and ability to work in different situation with different people.
Participating in group projects will enhance my skills of people management, networking and emotional intelligence and empathy. And then get a graduate job after graduation as a finance assistant to get some experience, learn from working environment and apply theoretical knowledge into practical situation. At the same time, I will prepare to take qualification from professional bodies to be competitive for my future career. Moreover, I will consider for further study after having two or three of work experience as most of the employers prefer to employ master degree holder for their finance manager position.
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