How to Become a Corporate Finance Manager

Have you ever thought about pursuing a career in high finance? Working with big corporation executives and stock holders can be an exciting and fulfilling career option. Are you good with facts and figures? Do you like to be a part of the movers and shakers in big business? Perhaps this is an option for you. A corporate finance manager knows all the ins and outs of big business, and especially the business in which he works.


How to Become a Corporate Finance Manager

A corporate finance manager is good at dealing with money.

A corporate finance manager knows finance and business equally. He or she knows what it takes to generate new revenue and serves as a sort of advisor, as well as a caretaker of the deals undertaken by a corporation. They have a great deal of legal responsibility to show "due diligence," which is the standard that ensures businesses comply with legalities and ethical issues as they arise. For this reason, it is feasible for them to also have some background in Law as well.

Typical Education

In general, their education should focus on Business and Finance, with a strong emphasis on Ethics and trade regulations. They should seek a degree in Business and/or Finance from an accredited institution or online college or school. Some have a graduate or masters degree also.

An Alternate Route

If a degree is not feasible to obtain, a corporate finance manager could seek as a minimum, a certificate in Business or Finance instead, and couple this will a strong ability in Accounting, Business Management, and be skilled at negotiations from their own experience. If they have owned a business in the past, this experience would also be to their advantage.

Steps to Becoming a Corporate Finance Manager

A corporate finance manager is good at dealing with money.

Bachelor's Degree
More than 5 years
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics
They know what works and what doesn’t, and they focus on strategies which maximize profits, while minimizing loss. They may be involved in any and all aspects of the operation of the corporation or may serve as a COO or co-founder of a business as well. Here are some steps to take to achieve this status, if this is a career goal you would like to pursue:

1) Get a degree from an accredited institution in Finance or Business. Focusing on how to manage money within a business will help you see the "big picture" which is required of a corporate finance manager in a big corporation. Focus on an educational program which teaches you management skills, as well as the ethical, legal, and financial side of big business.

2) Obtain experience as an expert financier. The more experience you get in the finance field, the more you will be respected in corporate circles. Previous work in banks or financial institutions is a good start, as well as proof that you can handle your own finances in impressive order. Keep careful records of your own financial portfolio, as some businesses may want to see how you handle your own finances, before they decide to hire you to do theirs.

3) Learn investment procedures. The corporate world is about investing too. Making wise investments in both other companies, stocks, and trading arenas are activities you will do regularly if you are hired as a corporate finance manager for a big company. Know the stock market, safe ways to invest, and all about ROI (return on investment) to show executives you have their best interests at heart and can advise them about their financial interests.

4) Be a software guru. Nowadays, big corporations utilize tracking and analysis software to see how their business, website traffic, and other interests are doing. Learning the different types of investment and money management software can go a long way toward proving yourself with corporate executives in today’s technology-based corporate world. You don’t have to be a programmer. Just know what works for businesses to help them keep careful track of their money.

5) Try to get published in financial circles and publications. If you are published anywhere for your financial wizardry, this could be a very impressive feat with corporate executives. What they are looking for is an expert. If you can give them that, you may be well on your way to the top in this lucrative career.

Becoming a corporate finance manager is usually a slow climb from a bank officer to a manager in a financial institution to prove yourself first. Then you should make connections with big companies to see if they will move you into a high position with their firm. The more experience you get in Finance and Business, the better you will do. Successful corporate finance managers can make over $100,000 per year with major corporations. Candidates with masters degrees have the best chance of advancement.

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