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What does it take to become a Financial Director?
To ensure your application for an Administrative and Financial Director position gets the viewing time it deserves, a solid academic track record and extensive experience is a must. So, what are the best and most relevant courses to follow? What kind of experience are recruiters looking for?
A bachelor’s degree in management, finance or accounting is a minimum requirement, although a master’s degree in one of the above three fields will give your candidacy an edge. Business and management schools are ideal for accessing these qualifications, and for those thinking of making a lateral move, there are a growing number of recognised online business schools that can facilitate after-hours learning. Work-study programmes are also a major asset in terms of the experience and professional network they can bring.
Expectations in terms of experience
Candidates must be able to demonstrate that they have seen major projects through to completion as proof of continuous career progression. There are several approaches here: showing proven experience of working for an accounting or audit form is one route; having specific management or consolidation roles is another.
Candidates may also provide proof of expertise through previous experience in one of the following roles: Head of Management Control, Financial Controller, Accounting Director or as an experienced manager within an auditing firm.
The role of Financial Director has seen a great shift over the years - there is no getting away from the fact that the number of international transactions has risen sharply. Greater technical and risk management skills (e.g.: LBO financing and improving process tools) are now the norm and an ability to identify the right circumstances for expansion is more important than ever.
After a number of years (the precise duration depends on the existing company hierarchy and expansion plans, but is ear-marked as being 10-15 years of experience) Financial Directors can expect to move to more senior positions, including Regional Financial Director or Chief Financial Officer.