Businesses in Canada are facing an unprecedented number of challenges and evolving to meet these challenges head on. Whether you do business in manufacturing, IT or professional services, you do not conduct business the same way you did pre-COVID. Similarly, the role of Finance Managers has evolved. Today’s most successful financial managers are savvy professionals who are expected to have a strong financial background, thorough understanding of the organization’s overall business and an ability to work in tandem with different team leaders within an organization.
Which skills should a Finance Manager have?
A Finance Manager is not just tasked with ensuring a company’s financial health, but also plays a crucial role in the overall growth and sustainability strategy. Thus, hiring someone with an accounting designation or a degree is the bare minimum.
If you want to make sure your company’s finance team is in the right hands, there are several additional skills that you need to look for in your future Finance Manager.
Having an analytical mindset is extremely important in a managerial finance profession. When hiring a Finance Manager, look for a person who can provide an example of their analytical skills. Your prospective hire must be able to identify root causes of problems and find realistic solutions within reasonable timelines. In addition, they must also be able to spot potential financial risks and counsel an organization on how to mitigate or eliminate those risks. A balance of critical thinking and robust financial knowledge helps Financial Managers resolve possible problems proactively.
A Finance Manager is expected to function as a team leader who can motivate the team. When hiring someone for a Finance Manager role, consider a person with strong leadership skills, someone who is comfortable delegating tasks and identifying key strengths of their team members.
Your company’s finance team can only function to its full potential if the manager is able to supervise, provide constructive feedback and motivate the finance team members to do their best work. The dynamics and motivations of potentially five generations who are currently in Canada’s workforce is an important understanding to connect and coach team members. Attracting and retaining great team members often succeeds and fails with the direct people manager, so choosing a Finance Manager with proven team leadership skills means whether they currently manage a team or not they can transition into a people leader role more easily.
Another one of the key aspects of a Finance Manager’s job is to be familiar in time and project management. Whether it is managing schedules and deadlines or ensuring their team has everything they need to succeed, Finance Managers must keep everything in order.
When hiring a Finance Manager, look out for an organized, detail-oriented and people-oriented individual. Your future Finance Manager must know how to delegate responsibilities with manageable deadlines to their team.
It is important that your Finance Manager communicates effectively and concisely. Beyond crunching numbers, they must ideally possess strong written, verbal and presentation skills. This also includes being able to communicate across all platforms whether that is email, video or a project management platform like Slack.
Being able to breakdown complex financial information in simpler and understandable language is a key skill that you should look for in your next Finance Manager.
Forecasting & Budgeting
One of the key job functions of a Finance Manager is forecasting and budgeting. Typically, as this function is a basic of most financial job roles, it is likely that your potential candidate may already possess this skill. It is still important to have them provide examples of how they forecasted and budgeted in their former roles and how successful were they.
Finance Managers must be able to provide reasonable insights on current budget and workable solutions based on your organization’s past performance. They should be able to determine whether your company is headed in the right direction based on this knowledge and recommend steps if it is not.
Today’s organizations thrive on teamwork, and it’s essential that your Finance Team leader can interact comfortably with other employees and cross-functional teams. They should possess politeness, empathy, and strong listening skills, both in their supervisory role and when collaborating with other teams within your company.
They must also be digitally fluid, which means whether teams are working from home, in different time zones or in the office next door, they must be able to function, coach and lead virtually. Since the pandemic this has become a priority for companies that offer flexible work environments.
The world of finance has changed and like in every other team in your company, right from human resources to procurement or even administration, you need someone who is well-versed with using technology. Proficiency in financial software is essential to ensure lean, accurate and quick operations.
A person working in a Financial Manager role must have some experience of working with financial software and must be comfortable learning new technology. They must able be able to customize, print and study software generated reports to give faster and accurate business insights. They must also understand how financial software integrates with other software used within the company.
Finding the right person for a Finance Manager role can be a challenge, especially since it needs a blend of highly specialized knowledge combined with several key managerial skills. Understanding how to assess these skills and aptitudes during the recruiting process is key to your (and their) success. One of the best ways to find your next Finance Manager is partnering with a recruitment expert who will leverage their network and referrals for you. Contact us today to get started, or if you’re a Finance Manager looking to make a move check out our current available roles here.