How to Become an Excellent Finance Manager


Being an excellent finance manager is akin to walking a tightrope. You have to balance the competing demands of employees, shareholders and your own boss, while still maintaining focus and grace under pressure.

A great finance manager does several things well. They are strong relationship builders and model behaviours designed for success. They understand how to use each member of their team to greatest effect and are constantly looking for innovative ways to add value to their organization. Fundamentally, if you want to become an excellent finance manager, try practicing the five traits listed below on a consistent basis.

Relationship Builder

Exceptional finance managers excel at building relationships. Whether it’s with their own team, management or external partners, a great finance manager has an innate ability to understand each person’s individual drivers and work with them. They are accessible to their staff even when deadlines are bearing down on them and they are able to establish a successful culture of collaborative communication.

Capitalize on Strengths

Strong finance managers position their teams for success by capitalizing on each individual’s particular strengths. Gifted in their ability to evaluate staff, an excellent finance manager understands that creating deliverables specifically tied to a team member’s abilities, encourages buy-in and accountability. At the cornerstone of their management philosophy lies a belief that a strong, productive team can create exceptional results.

Modelling Behaviours

Excellent finance managers practice what they preach. Each day they push themselves to do better, be ethical and communicate transparently. They establish a culture of continuous improvement by owning their mistakes, taking additional courses and growing their own professional toolbox. They don’t ask their team to do something they wouldn’t do themselves and they model excellence every day.

Forward Thinking

A great finance manager constantly tries to add value to each level of the organization. They see the business in all its working parts, not just solely through its numbers. They view the company strategically and are constantly planning ways to ensure that it achieves its long-term objectives. They are change catalysts, transforming their organizations and the people around them.

Celebrate Achievements

Strong finance managers build team unity by celebrating achievements. Whether it’s hitting a milestone, or completing a long-standing project, a great finance manager recognizes when it’s time to take a breath and toast their team’s successes. And while it doesn’t have to be a grandiose celebration, a simple acknowledgment even in the form of a sincere email, strengthens a team’s bond and engenders in them a desire for even more success.

To become a true leader one must first encourage success in others. Exceptional finance managers position their teams to excel by tying deliverables to each person’s individual strengths. They are accessible and celebrate their team’s achievements. They look to add value, seeing the company through a strategic lens and they are never satisfied with existing policies and procedures. But mostly, gifted finance managers understand that if they want to see excellence in others, they must first model it themselves.

Let us know what you think! At Clarity Recruitment, we’re always interested in hearing from accounting and finance professionals like yourselves, who are ready for new, exciting opportunities that can take their careers to the next level. And be sure to follow us on Twitter (@clarityrecruits) and connect with us on LinkedIn and Facebook for more great tips and advice.