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A Guide to Strong Finance Managers

What is a Finance Manager?

Finance managers are an integral part of an organization’s strategy to manage its financial health and strategic success. They are responsible for maintaining sound financial records, analyzing and managing your cashflows, profitability, and growth from daily decisions to long-term financial projections. Their work can ensure financial sustainability and strong alignment to the organization’s mission and vision. This role is critical for social enterprises, non-profit organizations, charities and small businesses, though the focus of the work can vary. Let’s take a look at the skills and perspectives this role can bring to your organization.

Fundamentals of the Finance Manager Role

An effective Finance Manager is able to establish sustainable processes and implement solutions in order to meet your organizational goals, not just your financial goals. This means creating a blueprint with clear targets while managing research and insights for key stakeholders. This role can lead the accounting and bookkeeping functions to ensure accuracy, compliance with Canada Revenue Agency or other institutions, and that you have the right information gathered for analysis. Past and current performance is tracked and compared to established metrics, forecasted targets and other relevant benchmarks; these comparisons are analyzed to understand what is happening at the organization, how well it is functioning, and relevant insights for better decision making. Additionally, they can assist with raising and allocating funds while being mindful of significant items such as covenants (the rules that investors/funders require you to follow).  

Learn more about what this role can encompass to support your success.

What are the Goals of the Finance Manager?

A Finance Manager ensures that you have the right processes and insights for your success and growth. The goals of these tasks are to increase financial sustainability and cashflows, measure and report on your company’s performance and impact, strengthen your stakeholder relationships, and provide clarity and confidence in operational functions, to ultimately allow for more freedom to focus on your core mission.

What Qualities make the Best Finance Manager for your Organization?

Finance Managers should be well equipped with strong strategic and analytical skills, effective communications skills, the ability to adapt quickly, organizational skills, and problem-solving skills to provide relevant and innovative solutions with a long-term impact. Great qualities for this role are:

  1. Strategic and Analytical Skills: Effective managers are able to use their analytical skills to support connect the dots and offer valuable insight for strategic decisions and long-term financial growth. This skill is  very valuable when analyzing financial reports, cash flows, and market trends to forecast financial and operational activities.
  2. Communication Skills: Since Finance Managers need to communicate with various parties, including clients and colleagues who may not understand financial jargon, having strong communication skills is vital for any finance manager. It is important for Finance Managers to be able to communicate their findings appropriately, and concisely, to share their findings and address queries and information requests.
  3. Adaptability: With the dynamic nature of growing organizations, economic uncertainty, and constant advancements in technology, it is important for any Finance Manager to remain adaptable. This will ensure that you are able to meet your financial goals with innovative solutions. The role must have a very thorough understanding of your business and be responsive to management needs.
  4. Project Management Skills: An efficient Finance Manager must also be able to manage schedules and deadlines to keep you on track to meet organizational goals and targets. This skill enables your team to anticipate any roadblocks and changing priorities with time to respond adeptly. Common projects for Finance Managers include creating financial reports and management presentations, proving financial feasibility of big decisions, and preparing for investment readiness.
  5. Problem-Solving Skills: With a deep understanding of a company’s financial goals, a Finance Manager is able to calculate risks and analyze a budget to then provide effective and sustainable solutions. This can be a key source of support for challenges faced by management.

How to Find the Right Finance Manager for You

A Finance Manager ultimately should enable you to focus on your operational functions and core strategy with confidence, align their performance with your long-term goals, and save you time and stress.

Curious about how Optinum works in this role and what value we can bring to your organization? Book a free 30-minute discovery call with us to see if outsourcing a Finance Manager is a good fit for you.

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