Careers in Finance
What Careers Can I Practice in Finance Management?
Finance is a field that is concerned with the allocation of assets and liabilities over space and time, often under conditions of risk or uncertainty. Finance can also be defined as the science of money management.
Market participants in the market aim to price assets based on their risk level, fundamental value, and their expected rate of return. Finance can be broken into three sub-categories: public finance, corporate finance and personal finance.
Money, in other words, the capital or finance makes every business possible. Thus, for a successful business this capital has to be managed very carefully.
- Finance is the field which deals with the concepts of time, money, and risk and how they are interrelated.
- Financial Management is the science of money management which is concerned with managing the finance of a company or organization and helping to accomplish their goals. It is about planning income and expenditure as well as making decisions that will enable the company to survive financially.
In the existing scenario of globalization and recession each and every company is looking for financial experts who can cut off the cost and maximize their profit. With the growing global economic system, these professionals are in great demand in the big corporate sectors and also in small firms. They are the investment doctors who are responsible to take care of an individual or organization’s financial health, ensuring orderly and systematic achievement of the financial goals.
Preparing financial reports, guiding investment activities and overall money management are the major duties of a financial manager. A good Finance Manager is a valuable asset to the organization and what makes a good Finance Manager is not the skill to earn money but the capability of dealing with money.
MBA qualified professionals are most in demand for the position of Finance Manager, but graduates with good experience and skill can also be in the track of success. Though a career in Finance Management is lucrative, the road leading to it, is definitely a hard one. A fast-track career in Finance Management depends on sound knowledge of money trends and the investment market.
Most Business schools teach finance as a specialization of MBA curriculum. The basic qualification to this 2 year fulltime program is graduation in any discipline and the admission is based on written test, group discussion and interview.
Some institutes offer executive MBA program in Finance for those who have some years of experience in the field. Apart from MBA, many certificate, diploma, graduate and postgraduate courses helps one to enter the profession.
Some of the available courses on Financial Management are:
- Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA)
- Chartered Accountancy
- Cost and Management Accountancy
- Certified Treasury Manager course
- Certified Public Accountant course
- Certified Investment Banker course
- Certified Risk and Insurance Management course etc.
The minimum educational qualification to join these courses is graduation in Commerce or Economics.
Why Take Up a Career in Financial Services?
The world revolves around money and a career in financial services puts you at the nucleus of money management. It’s a challenging and dynamic career path to pursue.
India, being one of the fastest growing economies in the world credits the “financial services” industry for contributing a fair amount of share in its GDP. The financial sector contributes around 6% which is noticed considerably by the rise in the number of employment and the revenue it generates. Banks and Insurance companies are responsible for generating most of the employment in this sector.
Why Do an MBA in Finance?
To become finance professional, you can start off with doing a bachelor’s degree. But if you are really inclined to make it big in the world of finance, you should contemplate on pursuing an MBA in the field.
An MBA in Finance or MBA in Financial Services, used synonymously, will equip you with in-depth knowledge of financial markets, investments, statistics, corporate finance, along with all facets of managing the business world. It will intensify your critical thinking skills and help you develop leadership skills.
Financial Jobs You Should Consider
Armed with the skills from the MBA in Financial services program, you can consider the below jobs:
1. Investment Banker
An individual who works for an investment bank to raise capital for individuals, companies, and government is called an investment banker.
Investment bankers may also be involved in mergers and acquisitions, serve as a facilitator between a company and its investors, and assist with unique investment opportunities such as derivatives and placing financial instruments.
2. Financial Analyst
Financial Analysts are experts in markets, economics, accounting, and compliance. They are able to absorb and evaluate huge volumes of data. With their analysis and revenue projections, they advise top management on strategic decisions and investments.
3. Venture Capital Analyst
As a venture capital analyst, your responsibility will be to network, be observant about latest industry trends, and meet potential target companies. They work for venture capital firms who provide capital to start-ups and small companies with a plan of business expansion but with no access to stock market.
4. Chief Financial Officer
A Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is responsible for managing the financial actions of a company. He tracks cash flow, analyses a company’s financial strengths and weakness, and proposes corrective actions. The CFO plays a key role in a company’s overall success by influencing company strategy.
5. Portfolio Manager
Portfolio managers usually work at money management firms and hedge funds. They are responsible for overseeing client portfolios. They help their clients attain their financial goals. They are professionals with project management skills and several years of experience.
6. Risk Analyst
Curbing losses and managing unpredictability is the responsibility of a Risk Analyst. They identify and analyze the areas of potential risk threatening the assets of a company, predict change and future trends, and also forecast cost to an organization.
Job Prospects and Career Options
The job openings in financial services are growing rapidly with every industry requiring financial managers. Government agencies, private corporate and financial organizations such as banks and insurance industry etc. employ financial managers in their establishments. Even non-profit organizations such as charity associations are also in need of a finance manager.
The major tasks of a financial expert are to help his firm earn more, to make future financial plans, to handle the liquidity or to even plan the acquisition of another company. Finance controller, treasurer, finance officer, credit and cash manager, risk manager and insurance manager are some of the positions one could get in an organization after his academic studies in finance and the responsibilities varies according to the positions.
- Finance controller: The responsibility of a finance controller is to monitor the accounting and finance reports. They are also known as controller.
- Treasurer: Is in charge of understanding the financial status of the company and maintaining the treasury of an institution. In corporate offices, they will have more duties such as handling foreign exchange and cash management.
- Finance officer: The major duties of a Chief finance officer are financial planning, maintaining the records and managing the financial risks of the company.
- Credit and cash manager: Is responsible for giving out the credits of their organization while cash manager is in charge of observing and organizing the expenditure to meet the company’s needs.
- Risk manager: Identifies the financial risk and is responsible for planning and implement the guidelines for the future of the organization.
- Insurance manager: The insurance manager takes care of the insurance budget of their organization.
But in small organizations, a single person mostly the branch manager will perform all these functions. Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Director of Finance are the highest positions one could achieve in a company in this profession.
Most of the big corporate companies provide training program for fiancne officers to understand their company’s policies and strategies. There are a plenty of opportunities in this rewarding field. One could find jobs as financial experts at multinational companies also.
Careers in Financial Advice and Investment
The investment sector is witness to an abundance of career choices. A part of them is focused on the clients while the other part refers to the administration. You must advise them as well as make sure they meet their statutory requirements. You may also do some research, to help them decide what set of assets they should invest in, do some risk management for them, and lastly, explain the entire process to them.
Careers in Fiduciaries and Trust
Some financial specialists focus on establishing trusts for their clients. They will require a whole set of services which include legal, audit, accounting, tax and business advice, and simple support to ensure the estate management runs smoothly and according to plan.
Careers in Leasing and Credit Finance
The type of careers this niche encompasses translate into administration, legal counsel, banking, risk management, accounting, financial analysis, auditing, customer service, compliance and regulations, and credit risk assessment. If you’re into working with people, this is the right track for you.
Careers in Financial Institutions Other Than Banks
Non-banking institutions do approximately the same thing and offer the same services as traditional banks. The only difference is they do not accept deposits. This distinct trait means they usually lend money rather than take it and practice foreign exchange.
Corporate Finance Careers
- Treasurer — This is a very challenging and sought-after job, so you must be very skilled to get it. It’s also an upper management position which will require analytical thinking, management expertise, and the ability to motivate the people working for you.
- Financial analyst — This is one of the most ambitious jobs in the field, as it requires you to have a thorough understanding of the entire finance domain. More often than not, companies like to assign their financial analysts to a distinct field, the likes of planning, revenue, capital budgeting or project financing.
- Credit manager — In this position you are expected to draft policies to grant credits to suppliers, to establish guidelines for collecting said credit, and to decide whether receivables should be securitized or not. You are required to have customer knowledge and the science of analyzing accounting statements.
- Cash manager — What you need to do as cash manager is to create relationships with banks, make sure your institution has enough money on hand on a daily basis and manage needs related to short-term credits.
- Benefits officer — You must learn how to handle employee plans, how to manage pension funds, how to work with the human resources department to create benefits for the employees that are truly cost-effective, and how to establish health care policies. This is yet another branch referring to jobs in finance for which you need excellent social and people skills.
- Real estate officer — This is the role where you must find real estates for your client to negotiate their lease, make the acquisitions, and evaluate the properties themselves.
The roles of financial managers can vary enormously. In larger companies for instance, the role is more concerned with strategic analysis, while in smaller organizations, a financial manager may be responsible for the collection and preparation of accounts, as well as:
- providing and interpreting financial information
- monitoring and interpreting cash flows and predicting future trends
- formulating strategic and long-term business plans
- researching and reporting on factors influencing business performance
- analyzing competitors and market trends
- developing financial management mechanisms that minimize financial risk
- conducting reviews and evaluations for cost-reduction orpportunities
- managing a company’s financial accounting, monitoring and reporting systems
- liaising with auditors to ensure annual monitoring is carried out
- developing external relationships with appropriate contacts, e.g. auditors, solicitors, bankers and statutory organizations such as the Inland Revenue
- producing accurate financial reports to specific deadlines
- arranging new sources of finance for a company’s debt facilities
- keeping abreast of changes in financial regulations and legislation.