While at one point, the company CEO would have been expected to work most closely with the Managing Director, in recent years the Chief Financial Officer has become regarded as the CEO’s ‘right hand’. Tough business conditions, rapid change in how business is done and difficult sales environments mean that Finance isn’t just numbers; Finance officers carry company-wide influence on everything, whether it’s sales, expenses, operations or organisational behaviour.
The ability of strong financial leadership in assessing risk, predicting financial outcomes and taking a critical approach to solving problems, all whilst protecting firms from overexpansion or overspend has greatly increased the influence of financial professionals.
A head for numbers is a head for success
It’s possible that finance is still regarded in some sectors as ‘bean counting’ but the days of ready credit and easy cash flow are long gone for most businesses. Companies must predict and respond to threats and changes more readily than ever before and good financial leadership that can assess, address and mitigate risk is a must for keeping a healthy bottom line.
Good financial thinking is at the top of business concerns; everything from regulatory introduction, legal compliance and even financial downturns can present a complex problem that needs to be gotten ahead of and handled. Businesses are no longer insular; global markets and international politics can throw up complicated situations that businesses must effectively manage to ensure smooth running.
People affect finance, too
Employees are the most valuable yet unpredictable resource that many businesses have and often represent their greatest finance concern. Involving finance in the strategic thinking behind updating and changing organisations and their structure, or even updating operations to run more efficiently can see finance professionals working closely with HR and IT. This means effective communication is incredibly important; sharing the vision and aims increases the effectiveness of any changes and preventing information silos greatly raises the chances of success.
Companies are now looking for professionals with this knowledge of the modern business world to hit the ground running and take control. Our MSc Finance, Leadership and Management equips you with all the skills that businesses want from their Finance Officers, delivered 100% online to allow you to study when and where it suits you. With six course start dates per year and the ability to pay-per-module, you can keep your current role and apply what you learn without having to take a career break to study, or make large up-front payments. A Masters degree from a prestigious Russell Group university, based on the world-class academics at the University of York is highly desirable by employers!
Modern Finance managers know and work closely with every department, whether it’s IT, HR or Sales. While finance has a reputation for being very complex, the skills you learn to work in unison can mean other departments not only appreciate how important the Finance Department is, but by working together how much more successful the company as a whole can be.