Finance Director Job Description
As a Finance Director you sit at the head of the finance team (unless your organisation has a CFO). In order to function profitably, businesses need to know how much money they have to spend, how they are performing and what they must do to generate revenue. The role of a Finance Director is to provide this information to the rest of the board.
Our Finance Director job description article details the key functions of the role along with what you will need to get to the top and how much you can expect to earn when you get there.
Thanks to seniority and high earning potential, the role of a Finance Director is a lofty ambition held by many skilled accountants.
Technical accounting skills are, of course, a must, but aspiring FDs will also need to be excellent leaders, influencers and communicators, unafraid to challenge other senior executives.
Finance Directors have ultimate accountability for the finances of an organisation while being responsible for the direct or indirect management of the entire finance and accounting function.
Reporting into either the CFO or CEO, Finance Directors sit on the board in highly influential positions that afford exposure to key business figures in other departments.
Every organisation needs a capable and reliable professional managing their finances, meaning that in terms of locations and industries, the possibilities for a Finance Director are practically endless.
The responsibilities of a Finance Director usually include:
• Working with department leaders to establish, review and adhere to budgets
• Monitoring cash flow, business activity and performance, suggesting changes or improvements when necessary
• Providing a financial and commercial opinion on the validity of ideas for new products, projects or services, challenging or disputing those without sound financial foundation
• Evaluating risk and reward potential of mergers & acquisitions and other growth strategies
• Ensuring that all financial activity, processes and practices are in line with regulations and the law
• Interpreting complex data and communicating it in a way that can be understood by non-finance colleagues
• Supervision and management of accountants, financial controllers and other staff in their day-to-day tasks
• Overseeing the preparation of monthly, annual and ad hoc reporting for the board, ensuring all reporting sits in line with accounting principles
• Devising, maintaining and promoting policies and internal audit to minimise risk and ensure compliance
• Ensuring that any externally provided products, contracts or services are cost efficient and suggesting alternatives if not
Finance Director qualifications and experience
Due to their great responsibility and influence, prospective Finance Directors must demonstrate a wealth of experience within finance and accountancy as well as significant team management experience.
In terms of qualifications, employers usually look for some or all of the following:
• A bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, finance or a similar field
• A Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree
• Accreditation from a professional accountancy body like ACA, ACCA or CIMA
Finance Director skills
In addition to impeccable technical accounting skills, your applications to Finance Director jobs should include evidence of:
• Team leadership and management skills
• Written and verbal communication skills
• Influencing and persuasion skills
• A commercial and strategic mindset
• The ability to make sound decisions at speed
• Problem solving skills
• IT literacy
• Sound knowledge of your chosen industry
According to data gathered in our 2018 Salary Insight Report, Finance Directors are the second highest paid of all accountancy professionals, beaten to the top spot by CFOs.
An average Finance Director salary in the UK comes in at £98,617 per year, but varies depending on location, company size and several other factors. Finance Directors in London, for example, reported average earnings of £110,959 in 2018, whereas those based in the North East were paid £87,692.