Finance managers oversee the major financial operations of an organisation.
Finance managers usually earn
$82K-$163K per year
Source: Hays, 2020.
Pay for finance managers varies depending on where they work and who they work for.
- Finance managers usually earn between $82,000 and $163,000 a year.
Source: Hays, 'FY 2020/21 Salary Guide', 2020.
(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:
- oversee cash flow and account management
- assess and manage risks
- prepare budgets and documents such as annual reports
- undertake financial forecasting
- provide financial advice to the organisation
- make decisions on how to invest the organisation's money
- undertake operational reporting and analysis to ensure the organisation achieves financial targets
- monitor and report on financial trends
- supervise the finance team
- ensure policies, procedures and legal requirements are followed correctly.
Skills and knowledge
Finance managers need to have knowledge of:
- finance and accounting theory
- budgets, financial modelling and financial reporting
- computer and accounting software.
- usually work regular business hours, but may work evenings or weekends to meet deadlines
- work in offices, but may travel to visit clients.
What's the job really like?
What is a typical work day like for you?
"In the morning I'll check in with team members to see what was done the previous day and what’s on today’s to do list. After that it’s a mix of getting on with work and attending meetings – but every day is different.
"I could be meeting with heads of departments to talk about their financial results, providing support to different business units, or giving information to the Treasury. There's always a lot of different things going on."
What do you enjoy most about your job?
"I love my team. We're constantly thinking about how we can improve what we do – how do we create financial reports that are easy for non-accountants to understand? How do we use visual aids like dashboards as opposed to tables of numbers to tell the finance story? We all share the same vision of wanting to improve and do the best we can each day."
What is the most challenging part of your job?
"As a finance manager I often have to deal with a wide range of responsibilities. I have my usual, day-to-day business activities to do and then also the unexpected tasks or requests I have to complete as they pop up. It’s about finding a balance so that all the work gets done as required."
To become a finance manager you need to have a Bachelor's degree majoring in finance or accounting.
A tertiary entrance qualification is required to enter further training. Useful subjects include accounting, economics, business studies, English and maths.
Finance managers need to be:
- able to lead others
- able to think critically and analytically
- accurate with high attention to detail
- strong communicators
- confident decision-makers.
Useful experience for finance managers includes:
- financial or accounting experience
- management experience.
Employers prefer to hire finance managers who are registered with a professional body such as Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CA ANZ) or CPA Australia.
To become a Chartered Accountant (CA) or a Certified Practising 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 certified practising accountant
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
Finance managers are in demand due to:
- a shortage of people with the right skills
- strict immigration laws due to COVID-19, meaning employers having a smaller talent pool to choose from.
According to the Census, 13,386 finance managers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
A balance of technical and soft skills needed for the future
With automation becoming increasingly common, finance managers need to continue upskilling their technical abilities. This includes keeping up to date with new financial software, faster interpretation of big data, and analysing companies' operational performance.
Due to economic uncertainty and increasing automation, finance managers need to be adaptable to changing environments. This includes having strong leadership, decision-making and communication skills.
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.
- Edmunds, S, 'Employers having to fight for staff in tighter job market', 2 May 2019, (www.stuff.co.nz).
- Hays, ‘Hays Jobs Report January to June 2020 – Accountancy & Finance’, accessed September 2020, (www.hays.net.nz).
- KPMG, ‘Financial Institutions Performance Survey June 2020 Quarterly Results – New Zealand’, accessed September 2020, (www.kpmg.com).
- Robert Half, 'Finance 2020 report', accessed September 2020, (www.roberthalf.co.nz).
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Finance managers may progress to become managing directors or chief executives.
Last updated 22 April 2021