What’s it all about then?
As a financial manager in a food processing or manufacturing company you’ll be responsible for providing financial and analytical support, and using your insight to assist the sales and profitability of your employer and ensuring that important decision-making around financial issues is effective and based on sound knowledge.
You’ll monitor company financial performance and make sure that all financial data is both accurate and timely and as well as keeping up with industry and market trends in order to assist senior management with strategic business planning.
What might I be doing?
Your duties are likely to include the following:
- The production of long-term business plans and their presentation to senior management.
- The management of budgets
- Controlling income, cash flow and expenditure
- Researching your company’s competitors and the food manufacturing sector in general
- Developing suitable financial models for your company that improve processes and maximise profitability
- Undertaking financial risk-assessments
- Tracking performance to identify trends and taking appropriate action
- Liaising with other senior colleagues
- Leading a team of financial specialists
What will be expected of me?
You’ll have to have a strong background of proven financial expertise in order to fulfil the requirements of the role of finance manager.
You’ll obviously be someone who enjoys numbers and analysis and you’ll be able to interpret extremely detailed figures and present them to non-financial experts.
You will also be able to work in a challenging environment and be someone who is confident and influential when making the case for a particular strategy.
Working in a food manufacturing environment will entail significant commercial experience and knowledge of the sector issues and trends likely to impact upon your company in the future.
What can I expect?
You’ll be extremely busy and can expect to spend much of your time analysing internal and external data in order to construct your plans for the company.
While office based, the nature of your company and the food industry means that some travel can be expected in order to properly understand all aspects of the manufacturing process.
Attending various events and conferences might lead to some out-of-hours work and this will also be required to meet tight deadlines.
What about the pay?
A role of this seniority will require experience over a number of years. A salary of around £45,000 - £50,000 per annum is the norm depending on experience, track record and suitability.
What qualifications do I need to get in?
As a starting point, you’ll probably have degree level accountancy or finance qualification and have acquired either postgraduate or professional body qualifications, such as those available through the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, over a number of years.
What about further training?
Further training will be entirely up to you, usually specialist or those that help with Continuous Professional Development; however, a generalist business qualification such as an MBA could be a consideration for someone who wants a wider business knowledge base and is looking to step up to the next level.
Anything else I might need to know?
Yes – don’t confuse the role of the financial manager with that of the accountant. As a financial manager, you’ll be planning your company’s future financial transactions while your accountant colleague will be busy reporting your company’s past financial transactions.
It’s as easy as that!