I have spent the last few years offering experienced and newly qualified candidates career planning on what exposure and responsibilities they need to gain to be able to move up the pyramid to become number one in finance. Last week, I spent a lot of time speaking to several Financial Controllers, all keen on making the step to Finance Director and through our conversations I have found a common trend on what is required to make that leap.
I thought it may be beneficial to share some pointers should you be exploring your next steps.
Develop strategic thinking and business awareness: A Finance Director is expected to contribute and implement the development of the company's overall strategy and provide key insights into financial/business decisions.
Build strong stakeholder management skills: Finance Directors need to interact with various stakeholders such as investors, board members, senior executives, regulators, and external auditors. You should be able to build relationships, negotiate and lead projects surrounding these relationships.
Upgrade leadership and people management: As a Finance Director, you will be responsible for leading and managing the finance team.
Demonstrate commercial awareness: You should understand how the finance function supports the business and creates value through cost-saving opportunities, revenue growth, and improved cash flow management.
Enhance technical expertise: A Finance Director should have a strong knowledge and expertise in accounting, financial analysis, budgeting, forecasting, risk management, and compliance. It's all about building a strong network of Finance Directors and business owners around you so you can seek guidance and mentorship on particular situations.
If you are currently considering making the move or have any questions on what steps you need to take to make the jump, please feel free to get in touch on my details below: