If maintaining financial health is something that interests you and you have an analytical brain, a career as a Financial Manager could be for you.
Financial Managers see to an organisation’s financial health, no matter what the industry. The work life of a financial manager revolves around compiling reports, directing investment activities and developing strategies and plans for the long-term financial goals of an organisation. Financial Managers apply analytical and excellent communication skills to assist executives in making decisions that affect the organisation, while managing a team to achieve set goals.
You will need to have taken the following subjects at high school:
- Mathematics/Mathematical Literacy (depending on the institution you apply to)
- Business studies
The following institutions are highly recommended for studies in Finance:
- University of Cape Town (UCT) – Faculty Point Score (FPS) of 480
- University of Pretoria (UP) – APS of 34
- University of Witwatersrand (Wits) – APS of 39
- University of Johannesburg (UJ) – APS of 33
The initial requirement is a qualification in finance and/or accounting, either a Degree/Higher National Diploma/Higher National Certificate is acceptable. Other qualifications in fields such as Mathematics, Statistics, Economics, Business and Management may provide exemptions from some professional examinations however there are accommodations for students only with a matric certificate.
Postgraduate courses are not a must however they do provide an advantage in advancement within the field. An ACCA or similar qualification is another must.
The following are crucial for being successful as a Financial Manager:
- excellent communication skills
- analytical skills
- detail oriented
- business and commercial awareness
- time management
- IT skills
- interpersonal skills
- numeracy skills
There is a myriad of opportunities available for this qualification and some of them include:
- Chartered/Certified Accountant firms
- Health Authorities
- Local government
- Universities and Colleges
- Banks, Building societies and Insurance companies
- Fast moving consumer industries
- IT companies
- Manufacturing and Service Industries
Working hours are your typical 8am – 5pm. There will be times when extra hours may be required to meet deadlines, with some projects requiring travelling both nationally and internationally depending on the size of the organisation, on a global scale.
The initial/entry salary can be anything beginning at R303 017 per annum and, with experience and additional qualifications obtained along the way, can increase to R911 351. The estimated average salary for financial managers in South Africa is currently R589 090.
The following are some of the things you can expect from a career in Financial Management:
- Financial support for professional study from employers
- Abundance of vacancies both nationally and internationally
- Self-employment as a possibility
- Travelling for work