Are you ready to learn Finance? People who work in the finance sector help businesses, nonprofits and government agencies in funding, and that’s not all. Finance may also include tracking, analysis, investment, or management of funds. The finance sector includes a range of careers including Chief Financial Officer and Finance Manager.
Those who learn finance and work in this field can work in small and big companies in any industry. Thomas Steele, chief financial officer of Bartlett Wealth Management, a wealth management firm in Cincinnati and Chicago, states, “A corporation or other large organization may have a finance department, while a small company or organization may have an accounting department. “
Both types of departments manage the collection and disbursement of funds. The difference is a matter of scale and complexity.
Budget and planning
When learning finance, you will gain the knowledge to create a budget that aligns with the goals of companies. It ties in with strategic planning, a process that involves setting a mission, vision and values as well as long-term and short-term business goals.
Managing Funds and Cash Flows
Learning finance involves understanding how to manage funds and cash flow. Finance professionals within businesses are charged with cash available to pay employees, suppliers, vendors, and overhead expenses, such as utilities and rent.
Finance professionals can identify ways to use companies’ funds more efficiently or effectively. Cash flow management and cash flow estimation help companies plan when and how they will pay for expenses.
Financial procurement, leasing and development opportunities
Finance also includes understanding how to finance the purchase or leases of property or equipment, as well as how to accelerate capital development through expansion or merger or acquisition.
Finance professionals can be responsible for a range of tasks, including big-picture planning, such as identifying a company’s competitive advantage and raising capital for startups.
Examples of the work done by finance professionals in three different industries are:
“In the investment industry, surveys and benchmark data are available to compare your company’s results with others in the industry and highlight your company’s strengths and weaknesses,” Steele said. In your role, you will make management aware of these differences. And suggest ideas to strengthen a weakness or increase a strength. “
“At major energy companies, finance managers can focus on functions such as credit risk management, cash management, inventory or equipment finance or access to working capital for financial reporting and accounting,” says Alex Daniels, business development director at Ipetus Holdings , Portfolio company in Houston. “A chief financial officer can focus on ensuring that sufficient working capital is available for long-term obligations, such as a large drilling program, and selecting the most efficient form of capital for such projects.”
“A startup tech company typically only has access to raise capital from equity,” Danielides says. “The CFO or finance manager should be considerate of the use of capital and the ‘burn rate’ of the company, which will control the premature amount. They should use the capital.”
Finance professionals work with businesses, nonprofits and government agencies. Finance for individuals or families is a separate area called personal finance. Each finance specialty requires slightly different focus and expertise. Job titles in finance may include CFO, Vice President of Finance and Finance Manager. Job opportunities in the financial industry depend on your specialty.
Finance professionals typically require a bachelor’s degree to find employment in this field. Some jobs such as bookkeeping, an entry-level accounting function, may not require a college degree. However, Steele says that most jobs in finance require secondary training in accounting, business administration or economics.
Furthering your education by obtaining a Master of Business Administration can open up even more doors for job opportunities. Credentials, including an MBA, Certified Public Accountant or Certified Financial Analyst can qualify you for high-paying positions and prepare you to advance the finance career ladder, Daniels says. “A physical amount of on-the-job learning is offered in many corporations,” he says “Understanding what your objectives are is an important first step to determine what further education can provide the best return.” “
On-the-job training may begin with an internship or may include a specific program training. You may need to learn Microsoft excel Or another spreadsheet program for working in finance. You should also be familiar with accounting software programs such as QuickBooks and be prepared to learn the accounting system of companies.
“There are many off-the-shelf accounting systems,” Steele says. “As long as you use your organization, you are expected to do so until you introduce a new system that provides better workflow and integration with other reporting systems in the business.”
The finance world is rich in resources to start your education or broaden your horizons in this field. Here is a sample:
Online courses can help you explore finance and complement your formal education in this field. Credit may or may not be transferred to a degree program. If this is important to you, choose your courses carefully and make sure that your credit will be transferable before enrolling.
Online course in finance
- Learn finance. Learn the basics of finance with this free online resource of GoSkills.
- Excel for finance. Learn to use Excel in these beginner and advanced courses from Investopedia Academy.
- financial modeling. Learn how to create and use financial models in this course from Investopedia.
- Excel crash course. Learn Excel tips, tricks, shortcuts, functions and formulas in this free video tutorial from Corporate Finance Institute.
- Certified Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst. Earn an FMVA credential with this 13-course program at CFI.
- Leading with finance. Learn the principles of finance in this course from Harvard Business School online.
- financial Accounting. Learn to read financial statements in this course from Harvard Business School online.
- Exam review syllabus. Prepare for your CPA, CFA, FMVA or other finance credit exam with these prep courses from Willie Efficiency Learning.
- Community colleges, public libraries and your own workplace can also provide helpful resources and courses in finance.
It takes desire and determination for a career in finance. A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is usually required to begin this field, along with additional skills and experience to advance. If you don’t know anyone in finance, then start networking to connect with finance professionals, mentors, career coaches, teachers and others who can help you learn finance and get a job in this field.
Steele says “Talking with friends and family in the finance industry can help you decide that this is the right career for you”.