The role of a Finance Director or Financial Director has steadily evolved as the World of Business has changed and developed, in 2019 the role is broader and more important than ever before. Here are some of the key duties and responsibilities together with notes, the exact specification depends on the business concerned, its product and market niche and if it is part of a group, floated on a stock market or trades internationally.
Close working with the Managing Director, Sales Director and Operations directors, the breaking down of traditional silos is a key part of the role as is supporting each of the senior team members.
Note – A successful FD needs to understand the profitability of each business area and contract and be able to work with each Senior team member to address profitability and performance issues on a contract by contract and customer by customer basis. Good working relationships and communication skills are vital for this.
Cost challenge – having the ability to constantly review costs and facilitate the manager or Director responsible to find better and lower cost ways of achieving success.
Note Often costs are unchallenged due to protective managers who may or may not be able to justify the status quo, being able to motivate managers to take ownership of costs and drive their own profitability, a personality that engages and encourages others to rise to the challenge.
Communications – Good
Note Teams respond well to good communication whether it is at busy times such as the month or year-end when deadlines need to be met or
Budgeting and Cash Flow – Producing reliable and accurate models which managers and Directors are able to buy into, and take responsibility for, whilst at the same time can drive better business performance and be used to support fundraising and working capital discussions with lenders.
Note Budgets need the involvement of all levels in an organisation to be able to motivational to each team, there needs to be a balance between ambition and realism and a good level of accuracy.
Qualified Accountant – member of a recognised Accountancy body.
Strong IT skills in particular spreadsheets
Presentational skills – ability to present and articulate topics in a compelling way to differing user groups both internal and external
Networking – Good at developing external networks and relationship such as Auditors, banks and private equity houses.