Finance managers manage the financial risks, financial planning and daily running of an organisation.
Finance managers usually earn
$80K-$100K per year
Chief finance managers usually earn
$100K-$180K per year
Source: Hays, 'Hays Salary Guide', 2015.
Pay for finance managers varies depending on the region they work in, and the size of the organisation they work for.
- Finance managers usually earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year.
- Chief finance managers usually earn between $100,000 and $180,000.
Finance managers may earn bonuses and perks such as company cars.
Source: Hays, 'Hays Salary Guide', 2015.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Finance managers may do some or all of the following:
- manage the cash flow in and out of their organisation
- make decisions on how to invest company money
- monitor and report on financial trends and organisational efficiency
- check the financial and business risks of projects
- plan and prepare budgets and documents such as the annual report
- ensure business meets legal requirements
- ensure debts are collected.
Skills and knowledge
Finance managers need to have knowledge of:
- budgeting, finance, and accounting theory
- company, contract and industrial law
- how to write and present budgets.
- usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work evenings or weekends to meet deadlines
- work in offices, but may travel to visit clients in their local area.
What's the job really like?
When Andrew McKenzie was at school he didn't have a clue what he wanted to do. He was interested in law and so started studying it at university. He soon discovered he didn't really enjoy it and swapped to degrees in accounting and economics instead.
"I planned to work in government, but I certainly didn't expect to be finance manager of an organisation this size."
A job that offers variety
"I love the variety and the leadership aspects of the finance manager role. There are always challenges – things I want to change in the organisation, improvements I can make. People are relying on me, and that's what drives me.
"My role is broad and covers information technology, human resources and property, as well as the usual accounting functions, which is not necessarily the norm for the job."
It's not just about numbers
Andrew says that often people don't realise that the job is about adding something extra to the organisation. "You have to add value to the organisation. Many people are captured by making numbers work, which doesn't always add value."
To become a finance manager you usually need to have:
- a degree in business management or commerce majoring in accounting
- a postgraduate qualification in finance and business management.
You also usually need to be a member of a professional group such as Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA ANZ) or CPA Australia.
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include accounting, economics, te reo Māori, computing, English and maths with statistics and/or calculus.
Finance managers need to be:
- able to lead others
- skilled at communicating
- good at making decisions
- good at analysing information and writing reports
- good at maths.
Useful experience for finance managers includes:
- experience supervising staff
- management or accounting experience
- banking experience.
Finance managers need to be registered with a professional body such Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA) or CPA Australia.
To become a Chartered Accountant (CA) or a Chartered Public Accountant (CPA) you must:
- complete a degree from an approved university
- complete three years of professional experience
- complete qualifications set by CA ANZ or CPA Australia.
- Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand website - information on becoming a chartered accountant
- CPA Australia website - information about becoming a CPA
Find out more about training
- Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA ANZ)
- 0800 469 422 - www.charteredaccountantsanz.com
- CPA Australia
- (09) 913 7450 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.cpaaustralia.com.au
What are the chances of getting a job?
Shortage of experienced finance managers
Demand for finance managers is good as:
- many senior financial managers are retiring
- there is a shortage of middle managers to replace senior managers
- it is difficult to find managers skilled in accounting, tax and business advice.
Types of employers varied
Finance managers usually work in the head offices of medium to large organisations.
Most finance managers work for:
- government organisations
- private businesses
- finance companies
- accountancy firms.
- Hays, 'Hays Quarterly Report – Accountancy and Finance, January-March 2016', 2016, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Hays, 'Hays Salary Guide 2015', 2015, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Hays, 'Where Will the Jobs be in 2016?', 26 Jan 2016, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Michael Page, 'Salary and Employment Forecast 2015', 2015, (www.michaelpage.co.nz).
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2006-2014 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2015.
- Robert Half, '2015 Salary Guide', 2015, (www.roberthalf.co.nz).
- Robert Half, 'Finance and Accountancy Jobs Boom as NZ Executives Foresee Business Growth', 27 January 2016, (www.roberthalf.co.nz).
- Robert Walters, 'Salary Survey 2016', 2016, (www.robertwalters.co.uk).
- Thompson, W, 'Shortage in Skilled Workers Creating More Jobs than Candidates', 19 March 2015, (www.nzherald.co.nz).
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Finance managers may go on to become managing directors/chief executives of their own businesses, as they have a good understanding of how a business works.
Last updated 10 December 2019