The job description of the finance director outlines the duties and responsibilities of the job, looking after the organization's finances at a strategic level. As an executive team member, a finance director creates and implements financial strategies and plans that improve a company's financial well-being.
The person occupying the Finance Director role directs how an organization's financial affairs should be managed. This role is more directional than transactional. The Board and executive leadership of the organization use such insights to give direction to the organization's overall strategy. They are responsible for going deeper into the organization's financial affairs and drawing insights. They share their insights and conclusions with the executive management and the Board.
Financial director job descriptions often indicate that the finance director reports to the organization's chief executive. This role and that of the CEO are the two roles that have a permanent seat on the organization's Board. I have not seen an organization where the finance director is not a board member.
The fact that this role sits on the Board speaks to the strategic importance of the role. The Director of finance job description often shows that the role acts as an advisor to the Board and the executive team.
Related: Job Description of Bookkeeper
The financial director job description often shows that besides interacting with internal stakeholders, this role has broad stakeholder catchment areas. They interact with regulators, external auditors, shareholders, bankers, and other stakeholders at a high level.
In addition, they do research and an analysis of the company's financial data to produce projections that contribute to the development of more comprehensive budgets. Financial directors devise strategies to assess, regulate, and reduce any possible financial risks.
Individuals often occupy the role of financial Director with extensive experience in executive roles handling the company's finances. Such individuals are usually people with high strategic thinking skills. Above all, these individuals need extensive business knowledge, specifically how the business can optimize its financial resources.
A director of Finance is a dependable expert with an extensive understanding of all financial, business, and accounting principles. They can make the most profitable choices because they are strong leaders and intelligent thinkers.
The objective is to lead the business toward long-term success and prosperity.
Job Description for Finance Director: Overall Purpose of the Job
The job description of finance director has a primary purpose: Grow shareholder value through developing and implementing financial and operational strategies. People hired for this role provide accurate and timely information on the well-being of the organization to internal and external stakeholders.
They are responsible for providing strategic and financial direction to ensure the organization can meet its financial obligations. The role is responsible for ensuring the organization's financial well-being, which should ultimately facilitate shareholder value growth.
Job Description for Finance Director: Primary Duties
To avoid encroaching into the operational responsibilities frequently handled by Finance Executives or Finance managers, the primary responsibilities in the job description of the Finance Director must remain at a very strategic level.
Below are the primary duties that must go into the Director of the finance job description.
- Sets the financial direction for the organization, which leads to the financial well-being of the organization.
- Spearheads strategic financing activities for the company and ensures the organization has adequate funding for operations.
- Provides advice to the executive team on costing and pricing decisions.
- Participate in the development of the organization's strategic plan.
- Monitors the profitability of the company and ensures that agreed profitability targets are met.
- Directs and supervises the financial team to ensure that they full their obligations.
- Leads in creating the organization's annual budget and ensures all divisions comply with the approved budget.
- Gives direction in preparing the company's financial accounts to ensure these are prepared to the required accounting standards.
- Creates strategies to manage financial risk within the business.
- Develops the company's investment strategy and ensures the Board approves the strategy.
- Oversees the company's business planning and financial forecasting cycles to enable the organization to operate optimally at all times.
- Reviews and approves company budget and submits the same to the Board for further approval.
- Monitors budget performance and variance and initiates corrective action.
- Develops, implements, and maintains company-wide cost management systems to help the company keep operating costs within approved budgets.
- Ensures accurate financial forecasting and valuations of company projects or new business initiatives to ascertain accurate funding requirements and maximize shareholder value.
- Manages cash flow and monitors and reviews the company's cash-flow position to ensure the business it is financially liquid to meet its obligations.
- Develops systems to ensure financial effectiveness and cost control.
- Ensures the timely production of financial reports in line with reporting requirements set by regulators and other stakeholders.
- Designs, implements, and maintains internal financial control systems.
- Overseas audit processes including external audit.
- Ensures compliance with all regulatory requirements.
- Ensures compliance with accounting standards.
- Leverages digital technology when leading the finance function.
- Develops frameworks and policies for all company financial investments.
Job Description for Finance Director: Educational Requirements
At this level, the finance director job description lists the level of education required to succeed. Candidates should possess a first degree plus a Masters degree in commerce. In most jurisdictions, the finance director should be a chartered accountant. While this requirement is not universal, in most jurisdictions, listed companies are required to hire a chartered accountant as their financial Director.
Other organizations prefer someone with a degree in accounting or Finance plus a professional qualification in Accounting or Finance.
- A first degree in accounting, Finance, or related field.
- A Masters degree in business, Finance, or related fields.
- Candidates for this role must be chartered accountants.
In cases where a company does not list being a chartered accountant as a requirement, they often require the candidate to possess CIS, CIMA, or ACCA.
When preparing a job description for a financial Director, choose the educational requirements based on the organization's needs and what work the incumbent will be doing. The list of academic requirements listed above is not exhaustive. You may find that other organizations are not strict on the chartered status or do not require a master's degree at all.
Job Description of Finance Director: Experience required
This role often calls for extensive senior-level experience handling the organization's finances. Individuals who can operate at this level should have exposure to the high-level strategic management of the business.
- At least 6 years of experience at the executive level
- Extensive experience at Finance Director or Chief Finance Officer level.
- Extensive experience handling key stakeholders such as shareholders, bankers, and regulators.
Job Description for Finance Director: Knowledge, Skills, Abilities, and Other Characteristics (KSAO)
You must include the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other qualities necessary for success in the job description of Finance Director.
Below I list some of these:
- High levels of numerical reasoning are a must-have.
- Candidates must have the ability to manage a diverse group of stakeholders.
- The roles require a stickler for details and standards.
- Ability to operate strategically when dealing with internal and external stakeholders.
- Candidates must for this role possess high business acumen.
- Good presentation skills are a must including the ability to present reports orally and in writing.
- High levels of analytical ability are desirable.
- High levels of critical thinking are required.
- Candidates must be familiar with accounting software
- The role requires an innovative individual.
- Strong creative abilities to create novel and original solutions
- The capacity to develop and deliver objective budget expectations for various departments
Individuals occupying this role often operate outside their experience paths while leading others to operate beyond theirs. Leaders at this level will only be successful by valuing the expertise and success of others and operating within the multiple layers of their organization. Humility is a desired characteristic at this level; recognize that others have specialized expertise indispensable to success. A modest view of one's importance helps underscore an essential ingredient to foster cooperation across organizational boundaries. Even the most humble person must guard against imperceptible ego inflation when constantly exposed to high levels of attention and opportunities.
The CEO, Board, and senior corporate executives receive strategic counsel from the Finance Director. Depending on the organization's size and type, the responsibilities of the Finance Director position may differ from those listed here. In this example job description, I have outlined the main responsibilities of the Finance Director. You are welcome to modify this example and use it to create a job description for your organization's finance director.
Milton Jack is a Business Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
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