As home to the second largest contingent of Fortune 500 headquarters in the U.S., Houston offers a wealth of opportunities for anyone knowledgable about business and finance. And almost every kind of company -- large or small -- requires the services of financial managers.
Financial managers prepare financial reports, direct a firm's investments, manage a company's cash, and develop long-term financial strategies and goals. They are also highly involved in mergers and acquisitions. At many companies, these duties are split among a variety of positions: controller, treasurer, credit manager, cash manager, risk and insurance manager, and manager of international banking.
Careers in Financial Management
A controller prepares financial reports that summarize and forecast the company's financial condition.
Treasurers direct budgets. This includes overseeing investments, managing risks, supervising the cash management, and raising capital to help the company expand.
Credit managers are just that -- managers of the credit issued by their company. They establish credit-rating criteria and monitor collections.
Cash managers oversee the flow of cash in and out of the company. Cash flow projections are essential in helping to develop a budget and to determine if loans will be required or if the cash at hand can be invested.
Risk and insurance managers look for ways to minimize risks and limit losses from business operations and financial transactions. For example, insurance managers might consider the cost of insurance payments for an employee versus the cost of a lawsuit, while risk managers might determine the financial risks associated with fluctations in the price of a specific commodity.
Technology has changed the work for many financial managers. For example, financial reports take much less time to produce today than they did even 15 or 20 years ago, allowing financial managers to spend more time on data analysis.
Education and Training
A bachelor's degree, with a concentration in finance, accounting, economics or business administration is required for most financial management positions, and many employers now seek those with master's degrees in business, finance, or economics.
Analytical skills are key to financial managers, as so many of their responsibilities revolve around discovering and addressing problems or risks. They should also be good team-players and communicators, with a broad understanding of the business at hand. Knowledge of international business and regulatory compliance is essential in the increasingly global economy.
Top Houston Finance and Business Schools
American InterContinental University
Offers bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration
Keller Graduate School of Management - Houston
Master's degrees in accounting and financial management, business administration, project management, and more
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