How Much Does a Finance Manager Make and Other FAQs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 19 January 2023

Published 29 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A financial manager's role is full of responsibility within any organisation that sees significant financial turnover, both within the finance department and the business as a whole. If you're good with numbers, analysis and forecasting projections, it could be a great career choice. If you are considering the role, the earning potential for a finance manager is likely one of your primary considerations. In this article, we explore how much a finance manager makes, plus the main responsibilities of this role, where financial managers can earn the most, what factors could lead to an increased salary and frequently asked questions about financial management.

What is a finance manager and what do they do?

A financial manager's role can be quite vast and varied. Generally, they oversee the whole financial landscape of an organisation to provide financial guidance and support. They coordinate balance reconciliation and produce financial reports, financial statements and profit projections so businesses can feel financially secure. They also conduct financial forecasting and analysis and make improvements to internal financial procedures.

The specific responsibilities of a finance manager vary depending on the organisations they work for and their overall goals. They may be employed in many different kinds of institutions, including general businesses, charities, universities, NHS trusts, multinational corporations and everything in between. In general though, a financial manager's tasks include:

  • Daily reporting

  • Analysing and overseeing monthly budgeting, reporting and forecasting

  • Monitoring cash flows

  • Providing services such as payroll, accounts payable and collection

  • Liaising with payroll or accounts teams

  • Ensuring that the organisation complies with regulatory industry standards

Related: How to become a finance officer (with duties and skills)

How much does a finance manager make?

The responsibility of overseeing an organisation's finances may be making you wonder: how much does a finance manager make? There are several factors that affect a finance manager's salary. As such, there are several various salaries you could make depending on your job description and also several factors that could increase this number.

According to Indeed Salaries, the average earnings for a financial manager in the UK is £43,273 per year. Like many positions, finance managers can start with a more entry-level salary which increases with experience. As such, it's helpful to consider their salary range in terms of the progression the job may naturally take:

  1. A trainee finance manager can make between £25,000 and £35,000.

  2. A qualified finance manager's salary, as we've seen, can range from £35,000 to £50,000.

  3. A senior finance manager with a good client base can earn in the region of £70,000.

  4. A finance manager with private clients based in high earning fields like private banks or major retailers can earn £100,000 or more.

What can increase the wage of a finance manager?

Like many areas of work, there are certain factors that can increase the amount a finance manager makes, much of which comes down to qualifications and experience. Although becoming a finance manager is open to graduates of any discipline, a degree or certification in the following areas may improve your chances of earning more:

  • Financial studies

  • Accountancy

  • Business management

  • Financial analysis

  • Mathematics

  • Statistics

While an academic qualification is an asset when it comes to making more as a financial analyst, personal qualities such as relevant experience can do just as much depending on the prospective employer. Gaining membership with a professional organisation is beneficial too, as it shows your commitment to the sector and increases your professional persona. In addition, if a potential candidate can demonstrate that they have helped improve the financial health of a company or institution within a relevant industry, they can expect to negotiate a higher wage at the outset than other potential candidates.

Job prospects for finance managers

Because a financial manager acts as a company's in-house money doctor and because financial wellbeing is so important to the overall health of any business, finance managers can always expect a demanding job market. Qualified professionals in this sector can expect many available roles in the UK hiring market, especially in the not-for-profit charities sector where organisations are focussed on achieving tighter controls and financial guidance.

Continually evolving your skill set as a financial manager is a great way to specialise and focus on a particular area or industry. Gaining auxiliary professional qualifications, like those from ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales), ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland), ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) only increases job prospects. Additionally, developing data management and data analysis skills is another way to evolve a finance manager's role to accommodate this shift.

Frequently asked questions about being a finance manager

If the information above regarding how much a finance manager can potentially make has caught your attention, you may have some further questions about how you can become a finance manager, what common finance-based interview procedures to expect and what top skills you need to succeed in this role. For all of that and more, here's a list of frequently asked questions about a career in financial management:

How can you become a finance manager?

There are a few ways to become a finance manager:

  • Some organisations offer graduate training schemes, whereas private organisations often recruit university graduates directly into their businesses.

  • Entry into the profession is possible with A-levels (or equivalent), or an HND or HNC. Then you can proceed to professional accountancy training and work your way up to a management position.

  • It's possible to move into financial management from other areas of the banking and insurance sector.

What skills are crucial to financial management?

There are many skills that are crucial to a financial manager's role that contribute to making someone a good, and a well-paid, professional. These skills can also help determine if financial management is the right fit for you:

  • excellent communication skills

  • an analytical approach to work

  • high numeracy and sound technical skills

  • problem-solving skills

  • negotiation skills

  • strong attention to detail

  • an investigative nature

  • the capacity to make rational decisions

  • great IT skills

Related: 10 Essential Finance Manager Skills

What does an interview entail?

Although the interview process for any position can vary from one organisation to the next, there are some commonalities that prospective finance managers can expect to see in an interview situation. For example, common finance interview questions like the following can be expected anywhere you apply:

  • What is your experience in finance? What was your last position in finance?

  • What financial systems are you familiar with using?

  • What level of responsibility do/did you have with your current or last financial role?

  • What observations can you make about the financial health of our company?

  • What are the main challenges that the financial industry faces today?

Related: Common Finance Interview Questions (And How To Answer Them)

What different kinds of jobs can a finance manager do?

There are several different professional designations that a financial manager can have within the company they work for. Financial controllers, for example, oversee financial departments and prepare financial reports. Credit managers, as the name suggests, manage businesses that are credit-related, such as credit ceilings and accounts in collections. Risk managers use strategic analysis to estimate the probability of financial loss or gain when companies are looking to make investments.

What is the workplace environment like for finance managers?

Because a financial manager's role is so important for the overall health of any business, the day-to-day environment for a financial manager is usually spent in an office environment where they can easily communicate with many different departments. Much of the work they do revolves around analysing information using sophisticated data analysis software and can be very computer-based.

It's not uncommon for finance managers to work full-time hours throughout the year, and they may need to work longer hours during busy or demanding periods. Furthermore, they are often a necessary component for business meetings and may be required to travel to meet with clients.

What previous experience will potential companies look for in candidates?

Financial manager roles usually require quite a lot of previous experience working in similar positions. Employers look out for candidates who have a history of working in accounting jobs, financial analysis jobs or similar.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries‌ ‌may‌ ‌‌vary‌‌ ‌depending‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌hiring‌ ‌organisation‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌candidate's‌ ‌experience,‌ ‌academic‌ background‌ ‌and‌ ‌location.‌

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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