How To Become A Finance Manager In Australia?

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Students want to know how to become finance managers in Australia.


Do you like mathematics and working with spreadsheets? If yes, a Financial Manager position is perfect for you.


Finance Managers design, execute and supervise the financial activities of an organisation. They implement the best business strategies to help organisations advance and generate profits.


To become a finance manager, you must complete formal finance, accounting, mathematics, economics, or business management education. Gaining some work experience in the finance industry will improve your job prospects.


You will learn about the financial manager's education requirements, qualifications, courses, skills, career prospects, earning potential, salary, courses, and steps to becoming one in Australia.



1. Who Is A Finance Manager?


Finance managers play a vital role in helping management make informed financial decisions. They manage finances, budget, mitigate risks, and offer investment guidance.


Due to technological advancements, finance managers forecast and analyse data to ensure future growth. They work under the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and offer financial guidance to the executive management team in a company.



2. Finance Manager Job Description In Australia


The job of a finance manager is quite broad and flexible. When working in large companies, they are involved in raising capital, direct investment, accounting, risk management, and anticipating trends. In smaller companies, you may even find them working as a CFO.


Thus, the exact duties mainly depend on the company's requirements. Here is an overview of the general duties of a finance manager:


  • Gather, understand, and review financial data

  • Supervise investments, payroll, income, and expenses of organisations 

  • Estimate future trends in finance

  • Analyse market trends and competition for business opportunities.

  • Identify ways to boost revenues and reduce costs

  • Deal with regulatory compliance and tax audits 

  • Generate financial reports for investors and management 

  • Develop long-term profit estimates and business plans 

  • Appraise and manage sources of funds, budgets, investments, and distribution of earnings 

  • Administer flow of cash within and outside of the organisation

  • Establish and run accounting systems 

  • Plan strategies to combat financial risks

  • Work with the Chief Financial Officer and lead teams

  • Estimate market and economic trends and create informed projections

  • Prepare financial reports and business plans and report them to stakeholders, senior managers, and executives

  • Guide organisations on long-term business plans and strategies

  • Monitor organisational operations and ensure that it complies with the financial and legal requirements 

  • Identify ways for operational improvements and profitability in business

  • Recognise financial risks and devise ways to mitigate them

  • Ensure timely collection of debts 

  • Summarise and forecast the financial position such as balance sheets, income statements, and future earnings 

  • Manage, coach, and lead employees in the financial departments

  • Prepare and communicate precise financial statements, reports, and forecasts



3. Required Skills For Finance Manager


Finance managers are great at gathering and examining enormous volumes of financial data to make significant investment decisions


A finance manager often works closely with team members, management, and clients. This requires them to have remarkable soft, analytical and technical skills.


The critical skills to succeed in the role of a finance manager are as follows:


  • Problem-solving

  • Mathematical proficiency

  • Advanced technological skills 

  • Decision making

  • Strong leadership

  • Able to manage workload independently

  • Communication

  • Creative problem solver 

  • Logic and Reasoning

  • Meticulous attention

  • Decisiveness

  • Time management 

  • Strong Teamwork

  • Well-versed in finance laws and regulations

  • Proficiency in MS Office suite, financial applications, and reporting tools.

  • Updated with the latest knowledge in finance theory

  • Good at negotiation 

  • Good conflict management skills

  • Emotional control

  • Able to handle pressure effectively



4. Qualifications For Finance Manager In Australia


In Australia, aspiring finance managers don't need specific certifications or membership with a governing body or association. A university degree and work experience within a finance environment are sufficient to apply competitively for a finance manager role.


  • Complete High School Education in English and Mathematics. Knowledge of IT, business, economics studies, and accounting are beneficial.

  • Complete an accredited undergraduate bachelor's degree in finance, economics, accounting, mathematics, or business management to gain an in-depth knowledge of finance and offer well-rounded advice.

  • Many employers seek postgraduate degree holders in accounting, finance, business administration, financial planning, or economics. 

  • In addition to the educational requirements, you must also gain experience in the finance industry.

  • Membership in Industry bodies like the Australian Finance Industry Association and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission helps financial managers continue professional development. It is also a great way to stay updated on legal developments in the finance industry.

  • Registration with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) can be beneficial.



5. Steps To Become A Financial Manager In Australia


The common finance manager career path to get employed as Financial Manager is to gain a university degree in finance, business, accounting, or economics.


If you wish to enter the industry as a graduate, you would require plenty of work experience in the finance industry to show your competency for the role.


Here are the typical steps to follow to launch your career as a finance manager.



Step 1: Get A Tertiary Qualification


Complete a formal accountingeconomics, and business qualification from an accredited university/school. Some of the good options are:


  • Bachelor of Finance 

  • Bachelor of Business 

  • Bachelor of Commerce

  • Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics


Alternatively, graduates can take a relevant certification course to develop a thorough understanding of the various aspects of the finance industry. Though entry-level finance certification courses do not require any pre-requisite, you may have to complete writing and numeracy tests to take the course.


  • Certificate IV in Credit Management

  • Certificate IV in Financial Services

  • Certificate IV in Business Finance



Step 2: Advance Your Career


Those who have completed an undergraduate degree course may pursue a postgraduate qualification to gain advanced Finance knowledge. Some good degree options that you can consider are:


  • Master of Finance 

  • Master of Financial Management 

  • Master of Accounting and Financial Management

  • Master of Professional Accounting

  • Master of Business Administration


Alternatively, consider taking a Diploma course to step up your learning and improve your employability for the role.


  • Graduate Certificate in Finance

  • Graduate Diploma in Taxation

  • Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning

  • Diploma of Commerce


Australian universities like QUT offer flexibility to students to complete the courses "Online".



Step 3: Gain Work Experience


Find internships or vacancies in executive leadership and management teams to gain industrial experience and job-specific skills.



Step 4: Join Industrial Bodies


Joining industrial bodies such as AFIA and ASIC will keep you up-to-date with the knowledge of laws, standards, and legislation in the finance industry.



Professional Bodies:





6. How Long Does It Take To Become A Finance Manager?


It takes at least 6 to 8 years to legally qualify to work as a finance manager in Australia when considering the most common career pathway.


  • A 4-year bachelor's degree

  • A minimum of 2-years of work experience as a financial auditor or analyst

  • Some employers even require a 2-years relevant master's qualification for an entry-level role.



7. Finance Manager Courses In Australia


Completing an undergraduate degree in commerce or finance is the most direct pathway to becoming a finance manager. 


The degree equips the student with a sound understanding of core subjects in finance management, such as:


  • Corporate Financial Analysis

  • Financial Reporting

  • Global Finance Management

  • Corporate Accounting

  • Auditing and Internal Controls

  • Banking

  • Financial Markets

  • Derivatives and Risk Management

  • Wealth Management

  • Portfolio Management

  • Investing

  • Economic Theory



Here is the complete list of courses that can help you qualify for a finance manager role:


  • Bachelor of Finance 

  • Bachelor of Business 

  • Bachelor of Commerce

  • Bachelor of Advanced Finance and Economics (Double Degree Course)

  • Master of Finance 

  • Master of Financial Management 

  • Master of Accounting and Financial Management

  • Master of Professional Accounting 

  • Master of Business Administration

  • Certificate IV in Credit Management

  • Certificate IV in Financial Services- TAFE Course

  • Certificate IV in Business Finance – TAFE Course

  • Graduate Certificate in Finance – TAFE Course

  • Graduate Diploma in Taxation

  • Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning

  • Diploma of Commerce



8. How To Become A Finance Advisor In Australia?


To become a financial adviser in Australia, you must complete the following steps:



Step 1: Complete Formal Education


Complete an approved bachelor's degree in finance, commerce, economics, or business.



Step 2: Gain Professional Experience


Next, gain full-time work experience equivalent to 1 year or (1600 hours) under the supervision of an AFS licensee. It must include 100 hours of structured training. 


Those undergoing internships will be known as provisional financial planners or provisional financial advisers.



Step 3: Undertake FASEA National Exam


The next mandatory step to earning a financial adviser status is undertaking a 3 ½ hour FASEA exam. The computer-based test comprises 64 multiple-choice questions and six report writing or short answers.


The Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal requirements and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission provides access to statutory materials.



Step 4: Register As A Financial/ Tax Adviser


You must register with the Tax Practitioners Board to legally provide tax advice related to licensed financial services.



9. Work Environment Of A Finance Manager


Finance managers are majorly involved in managing finances, leading teams, and meeting organisational expectations. The job involves a high level of responsibility. 


It may require them to work long hours to meet deadlines and adhere to several financial standards and legislations. A finance manager may also need to travel to discuss findings with teams.


Around 86% of employed finance managers work full-time for 46 hours per week (more than the industry's average of 44 hours).


The average age of working professionals in this sector is 45 years. Looking at gender share, around 46% of workers are female. This shows that the industry presents equal work opportunities for females and males to pursue this career.



10. Where Does A Finance Manager Work In Australia?


Finance managers usually begin their careers as financial analystsaccountants, loan officers, auditors, or related occupations before moving into the finance manager role. 


They may also work in executive management teams to provide financial insights and advice to organisations to help them form the best decisions.


The top industries that recruit financial managers are:


  • Financial services

  • Insurance

  • Professional

  • Technical and scientific industries

  • Manufacturing, 

  • Public administration and safety


They may work in a bank, loan and credit business, or insurance services when employed in the financial sector.



11. Job Prospects Of Finance Manager In Australia


With only 14% of financial managers employed part-time, the role is most suited as a full-time profession. The profession allows them to work in a home or an office. Though these professionals find work opportunities in most areas of Australia, 40% work in New South Wales.


The national employment website "Job Outlook" projects Strong future growth for this profession. The number of finance managers will likely increase from 65,800 in 2020 to 69,400 by 2025.



12. How Much Does A Finance Manager Earn In Australia?


The salary of a finance manager varies based on the industry in which they work, their role, experience, skills, and location.


As per Indeed, the average finance manager's salary in Australia is $119,744 per year or the hourly equivalent of $39.54, the average weekly financial manager salary is $2,286.



Based on The Location


  • Finance manager salary in Sydney, New South Wales: $128,742 per year

  • Brisbane Queensland $117,499 per year

  • Melbourne, Victoria $117,473 per year

  • Perth, Western Australia $115,460 per year

  • Canberra Australian Capital Territory $110,488 per year

  • Hobart Tasmania $100,871 per year



Based on Experience


  • Based on PayScale, an entry-level Finance Manager (< 1-year experience) earns AU$67,599 per year

  • An early career Finance Manager (1 to 4 years of experience) makes AU$87,596 per year

  • A mid-career Finance Manager (5 to 9 years of experience) earns AU$98,342 per year

  • An experienced Finance Manager (10 to 19 years of experience) makes AU$106,773



13. Conclusion


Finance managers play a vital role in the growth and success of any business. The capital investment decisions they make have the potential to shape the future of the company. 


Job stability, workplace flexibility, high salary, and career progression make it a career worth pursuing. 


So, why wait? Follow the above steps and start your journey to becoming a finance manager today.


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