What are the best qualifications for a finance director?

A finance director plays a crucial role in many organisations, and of course, many people very much aspire to become one. So, when your organisation is seeking out a finance director to help guide its growth, what qualifications should you be looking for in such a professional?

It takes a lot of time, effort, and certain qualities, to become a finance director. These sought-after professionals are required to be methodical and analytical, with a good head for numbers.

It’s quite a difficult job, but it comes with a fantastic wage and opportunities for career advancement, which reflects the monumental contribution the right finance director will make to an organisation’s chances of success.

The finance director has a crucial role when it comes to different projects. After all, the finance director is the person who creates the budget and ensures that other employees stick to it.

So, what are the best qualifications for a finance director to have? Below, we’ve explored precisely that subject.

What is a finance director?

Many companies have a finance director in order to help keep to a budget during projects and campaigns. The finance director creates the company’s financial policy and speaks to the CEO of the business about any expenses that could impact it. With this budget in mind, the finance director will also be there to help any stakeholders understand it. This way, expectations of expenses and expenditure can be suitably managed.

Although finance directors mainly focus on accounting and keeping the numbers in check on their budgets, they will also spend time in meetings that require negotiation with stakeholders and other businesses.

In addition, a finance director will typically work with other teams within the business to help ensure they work together effectively. The finance director takes an idea and makes it feasible within their budget. It’s no wonder, then, that so many organisations consider the services of an outsourced finance director or internal finance director to ensure they benefit from this capability.

  1. Accountancy qualification: the crucial degree

An accountancy qualification is crucial for a finance director. Finance directors work with numbers and budgets on a daily basis, which is why CEOs hiring for this type of position often push away candidates that are not qualified accountants.

Becoming an official accountant, or acquiring a qualification in accountancy, will help an aspiring finance director to develop their numerical, organisational, and critical thinking skills. It will also help them understand time management, compliance requirements, and how to work under pressure.

An accountancy qualification can also give a finance director strong foundations on which to keep building their skillset, so that they can even perhaps become a chief financial officer in the future.

  • ERP certificates

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is technology that is perfect for finance directors in their work to maintain their organisations’ budgets. The world is slowly becoming more and more digital, which is why current or would-be finance directors need to keep up with the trends in order to make their job a little easier.

An ERP system helps the finance director to put invoices and orders into a system to keep track of them. The finance director and the financial team will then be able to process them efficiently.

Various courses are available, through which finance directors can obtain a valid ERP qualification. Although this is not an essential qualification to become a finance director, such professionals who do have an ERP qualification are often more sought-after by organisations.

  • Online Microsoft courses

Although this may sound a little simple, it is always worth finance directors fully understanding the basics of essential software. Microsoft Excel, for example, that is one tool that finance directors use on a routine basis. This software helps these professionals to conduct financial analysis, so that they can be sure their budget is correct.

There are a number of courses that can be taken online – including some provided by LinkedIn – to help refine skills and give finance directors the ability to better handle their numbers and budgets in a spreadsheet.

  • HR management qualifications

Another qualification that can help an aspiring or current finance director to stand out, is in relation to HR. Finance directors inevitably work with a wide variety of departments, and will therefore end up meeting a range of analytical and creative people who may work very differently to themselves. Finance directors may also need to undertake administrative tasks.

So, a finance director having a basic understanding of HR, including a skillset that can help them hire new staff and understand the people they are working with, can be really helpful.

By improving their relationship with an organisation’s broader staff, a finance director will find it easier to undertake their financial duties. They will be able to communicate effectively about their budgets and help people understand why they are in place.

Is your firm in need of the assistance of the most capable finance director on an outsourced basis? If so, our team at PCFO would be pleased to speak to you about your circumstances and requirements, when you contact us via phone or email.  

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