Articles

Corporate Finance Job Descriptions

  • Published: 11/21/2022

The outlook for a career in corporate finance is strong. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that business and financial occupations will grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, resulting in about 715,100 new jobs over the decade. For financial managers, growth is projected to be even faster at 17%.

Because finance is essential to every industry, there are finance jobs all over the world, at all types of organizations, including private corporations, nonprofits and government. There are plenty of opportunities for growth, as finance skills — and financial planning and analysis skills, in particular — are in high demand.

Jobs in the corporate finance field are evolving to keep up with the fast-moving world. More and more, organizations are looking for professionals who can help them navigate digital transformations. For curious problem-solvers with an interest in data and technology, now is an exciting time to be working in finance.

Below is a list of finance titles and job descriptions along with the skills you need — updated for today’s world of corporate finance:


CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO)

DEPARTMENT: FINANCE / EXECUTIVE

Directs the fiscal functions of the company. Monitors, controls and reports the financial assets and results. Oversees the financial and operating strategy, as well as risk management. Serves on the Executive Committee and acts as a business partner to the CEO, supporting development of the company’s overall strategic plan. Often has responsibility for human resources, procurement, administration and information systems. Create forecasts predicting future growth.

PRIMARY FUNCTIONS AND ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Develop and communicate financial vision and strategy.
  • Work with the various operational business units to optimize their performance and planning.
  • Participate in, lead or sponsor cross-departmental initiatives.
  • Develop a high-performing finance group by being a trusted advisor to the CEO and business units, sought out for insight and attracting and developing talent for the organization.
  • Participate in development of the company’s plans and programs, linking longer-term strategy to the operational plans and cascading goals throughout the organization; provide strategic financial input and leadership on decision-making.
  • Direct the preparation and deployment of the financial planning process at the business unit and finance executive level, ensuring collaboration and communication across the company; serve as a financial advisor to company leadership.
  • Build a composite view of the company including profit and loss, cash flow and balance sheet impacts; recommend business or financial action as needed.
  • Ensure the integrity of the planning process by ensuring frequent forecasts, honest appraisals of expected performance, standardization of assumptions and calculations, elimination of source-data confusion, and making collaboration, coordination and communication across the company the norm.
  • Review and guide analysis of business units, portfolio segments, geographic territories, business lines and acquisitions.
  • Monitor financial health via the monitoring of guardrails around financial commitments.
  • Review and approve performance of strategic initiatives (e.g., investment portfolio, capital expenditures) and re-allocate capital as required.
  • Ensure timely and accurate business/financial reports and plans are presented to the business partners and senior management across all departments to increase financial transparency in management reporting and business line performance.
  • Monitor operational statistics; report trends, variances and issues; take appropriate action including proactively notifying business or financial partners/superiors.
  • Support/lead business unit performance reporting and reviews, financial assessments, forecasts, budgets or other operating plan development, investment decision support and other related responsibilities; develop and share insights with other executives and the board of directors.
  • Create learning opportunities by formulating questions and analyses for their team to research.
  • Monitor and report on market changes including macroeconomics and peers/competitors.
  • Collaborate with business partners and senior management on processes and projects while representing the goals of the organization.
  • Oversee the accounting department, budget preparation and audit functions.
  • Oversee the treasury department.
  • Identifies opportunities for expansion into new product areas.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

REPORTS TO:  Chief Executive Officer, President

POSITION(S) SUPERVISED: Vice President of Finance, Controller, Treasurer/Investor Relations, Vice President of Human Resources, Internal Audit Director, Tax Director, Risk Management Director and/or Vice President of Information Technology, Director of FP&A

ALTERNATIVE TITLES: Chief Financial Analyst; Chief Manager, Strategic Planning

QUALIFICATIONS

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, management or finance required.
  • MBA or an advanced degree in business, management or finance required.

RELEVANT CERTIFICATION(S)

  • FPAC
  • CPA

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

  • Strong knowledge of financial modeling.
  • Industry experience is preferred.
  • Strong knowledge of financial instruments, credit facilities and finance best practices.
  • Expertise with accounting principles, financial reporting, forecasting and budgeting, and analysis across the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows.
  • Proficient in database and accounting computer application systems.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

Ten to 15 years of professional experience with a track record of increased responsibilities.

SKILLS/ABILITIES

  • Leadership 
  • Highly analytical, critical thinker with strong attention to detail
  • Ability to drive results in a fast-paced environment
  • Negotiation
  • Organizational
  • Strategic planning
  • Ability to build relationships and lead a team
  • Commitment to excellence and impeccable standards
  • Excellent management and supervisory
 

VICE PRESIDENT, FINANCE/FP&A

DEPARTMENT: FINANCE / EXECUTIVE

Plays an ownership role in financial planning, management reporting and financial analytics efforts across the company including consolidation of plans and forecasts for an enterprise outlook. Provides senior and executive management with financial reporting and analysis to be used in strategic and tactical decision-making. Gathers business performance data, analyzes and compares it to previous periods, and develops recommendations for improvements in revenue growth or resource allocation. Works with various members of the operational and finance executive teams, the Board of Directors and, potentially, the investment community.

PRIMARY FUNCTIONS & ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Own the planning (budget and forecast) process across the enterprise including the analysis and associated recommendations.
  • Apply financial expertise to business operations; position the company competitively in the market.
  • Direct accounting operations, overseeing all transactions related to general ledger, receivables, payables, payroll and financial reporting.
  • Responsible for processing the financial activities that maximize profits for an organization.
  • Participate in, lead or sponsor cross-departmental initiatives.
  • Develop a high-performing FP&A organization by serving as a trusted advisor to the CFO and business units, sought out for insight, and attracting and developing talent for the organization.
  • Participate in development of the company’s plans and programs, linking longer-term strategy to the company’s operational plans and cascading goals; provide strategic financial input and leadership on decision-making.
  • Drive the financial planning process at the business unit and executive level, inclusive of kickoff meetings, deadlines, assumptions, data format/loads, as it applies to budgets, re-forecasts, capital planning and long-term plans.
  • Build a composite view of the company including profit and loss, cash flow and balance sheet impacts; recommend business or financial action as needed.
  • Ensure the integrity of the planning process: forecasts are frequent, honest appraisals of expected performance; assumptions and calculations are standardized; source-data confusion is eliminated; collaboration, coordination and communication across the enterprise are the norm.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the planning process itself.
  • Ensure timely and accurate business/financial reports and plans; share them with all business units to increase financial transparency in management reporting and business line performance.
  • Oversee error-free, relevant reporting including data preparation, report creation and quality control; strive to deliver insight, consistent data, and effective visualizations; reports include financial and operating information.
  • Monitor operational statistics; report trends, variances and issues; take appropriate action including proactively notifying business or financial partners/superiors.
  • Responsible for inventory of reports that delivers the right information to the right person at the right time; this may include maintenance of existing, development of new and retirement of outdated reports and key metrics.
  • Formulate questions and analyses for the team to research, creating learning opportunities.
  • Monitor and report on market changes including macroeconomics and peers/competitors.
  • Continuously re-assess the department’s skills, competencies and abilities to meet the company’s business needs and drive results through standardization.
  • Attract talent by making FP&A a desired career position, drawing talent in and sending it out to the business; establish FP&A's brand for excellence.
  • Actively upgrades the business unit through professional development, coaching, feedback, mentoring and creating career paths for team members.
  • Demonstrate effective leadership, supervising and interpersonal skills to instruct or assign work to others, motivate and coach, and evaluate work performance; establish trust and inspire others.
  • Forecast financial earnings based on accounting policies.
  • Coordinates the inter-relationship between the FP&A forecast and treasury cash forecast.
  • Reconcile the financial forecast with financing plan to ensure adequate capital is available to meet operational and capital spending requirements and forecast out covenant, regulatory and other capital commitments.
  • Coordinate tax schedules, returns and information.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

POSITION REPORTS TO: Chief Executive Officer, President

POSITION(S) SUPERVISED: Controller, Treasurer, Investor Relations, Vice President of Human Resources, Internal Audit Director, Tax Director, Risk Management Director and/or Vice President of Information Technology, Director of Finance/FP&A, FP&A Analyst, Manager of Finance/FP&A

ALTERNATIVE TITLES: Executive Vice President, Executive Director, Vice President of Budget & Analysis, Executive – Budget, Planning & Reporting, Vice President of Strategic Planning, Head of Finance

QUALIFICATIONS

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, management or finance required.
  • MBA or an advanced degree in business, management or finance required.

RELEVANT CERTIFICATION(S)

  • FPAC
  • CPA

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

  • Data management expertise.
  • Strong financial modeling skills.
  • Strong knowledge of financial instruments, credit facilities and finance best practices.
  • Expertise with accounting principles, financial reporting, forecasting and budgeting, and analysis across the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

Ten to 15 years of professional experience with a track record of increased responsibilities.

SKILLS/ABILITIES

  • Ability to work in a team environment – and lead it.  
  • Managerial, organizational and analytical.
  • Ability to effectively negotiate.  

DIRECTOR, FINANCIAL PLANNING AND ANALYSIS/FINANCE

DEPARTMENT: FP&A AND FINANCE 

Contributes to the company’s success by providing timely advice on strategy and operations. Manages the financial planning and reporting processes. Drives the FP&A teams to elevate existing processes and tools in order to meet the needs of future growth. Oversees the development and implementation of effective, integrated systems for budgeting, payables, reporting and auditing revenues, expenditures and asset accountability.

PRIMARY FUNCTIONS & ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Finance partner to company’s business units, leveraging interpersonal skills, building partnerships based on communication, collaboration and value-based relationships.
  • Apply financial expertise with a firm understanding of finance and accounting concepts, superb analytical abilities and strong attention to detail.
  • Participate in or lead cross-departmental initiatives.
  • Lead and develop financial managers and analysts.
  • Participate in the development of the business units’ plans and programs; provide strategic financial input and leadership on decision-making.
  • Works with finance leadership to build the financial infrastructure.
  • Drive the financial planning process at the business unit/department level, inclusive of kickoff meetings, deadlines, assumptions, data format/loads, as it applies to budgets, re-forecasts, capital planning and long-term plans, and measure the effectiveness of the planning process.
  • Consolidate the business unit forecast/plans into the overall corporate reporting to build a composite view of the company including profit and loss, cash flow and balance sheet impacts.
  • Manage the monthly, quarterly, and annual FP&A processes.
  • Conduct analysis of business units, portfolio segments, geographic territories, business lines and acquisitions.
  • Ensure timely and accurate business/financial reports and plans; share with all business units to increase financial transparency in management reporting and business-line performance.
  • Develop error-free, relevant reporting that includes financial and operating information such as data preparation, report creation and quality control; strive to deliver insight, consistent data and effective visualizations; reports may also include variance analysis of actual spending to forecast, plan and historical level, with explanations of trends and root causes.
  • Monitor operational statistics, reports trends, variances and issues; take appropriate action including proactively notifying business or financial partners/superiors.
  • Responsible for inventory of reports that delivers the right information to the right person at the right time; this may include maintenance of existing, development of new and retirement of outdated reports and key metrics.
  • Develop management reports in collaboration with business and finance teams.
  • Formulate questions and analyses for the team to research, creating learning opportunities.
  • Gather, manage and manipulate data from multiple sources for analysis; identify trends, extract insights and deliver actionable presentations of findings.
  • Monitor and report on market changes including macroeconomics and peers/competitors.
  • Develop and perform other ad hoc analyses.
  • Review/update investment decisions to assess progress/success and milestones; maintain a “gating process” for additional funding and continuation.
  • Continuously re-assess the department’s skills, competencies and abilities to meet the business needs of the company and drive results through standardization.
  • Attract talent by making FP&A a desired career position, drawing talent in and sending it out to the business; establish FP&A's brand for excellence.
  • Actively upgrade the organization through professional development, coaching, feedback, mentoring and creating career paths for team members.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

POSITION REPORTS TO: Vice President of Finance, CFO, Treasurer 

POSITION(S) SUPERVISED: Manager of Finance, Financial/FP&A Analyst

ALTERNATIVE TITLES: Director of Budget, Director of Financial Planning, Controller/Budget Director, Director of Treasury and Finance, Principal Financial Analyst

QUALIFICATIONS

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business administration or finance required.
  • MBA or an advanced degree in finance required.

RELEVANT CERTIFICATION(S)

  • FPAC
  • CPA

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

  • Expertise in MS Office Suite including advanced Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Data management experience.
  • Expert financial modeling, especially reading into assumptions and calculations developed by others, finding logical flaws and strength of design.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Experience with accounting principles, financial reporting, forecasting, budgeting and analysis across the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

Ten to 15 years of professional experience with a track record of increased responsibilities.

SKILLS & ABILITIES

  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Analytical, strategic and detail oriented.
  • Financial analysis and organizational.
  • Ability to lead a team and drive results.

MANAGER, FINANCIAL PLANNING AND ANALYSIS/FINANCE

DEPARTMENT: FP&A AND FINANCE

Analyzes operational, commercial, strategic and financial data/metrics in order to provide insightful analysis to drive management actions and initiatives and the planning process. Manages business forecasting and budgets. Performs financial analyses in line with corporate goals and allocates capital to its most efficient place. Becomes a trusted advisor to the supported unit.

PRIMARY FUNCTIONS & ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Engage global business partners to create detailed financial plans and influence investment decisions.
  • Own and build on current models to forecast financials and operational KPIs.
  • Analyze performance, identify areas of risk and opportunity and make recommendations to finance and operations leadership for improvements.
  • Lead and develop financial analysts.
  • Participate in the development of the FP&A and finance departments’ plans and programs; provide strategic financial input and leadership on decision-making.
  • Consolidate the business units’ forecast/plans into the overall corporate reporting to build a composite view of the company.
  • Assist accounting with month-end closing (allocations) and valuation, as required.
  • Prepare and maintain financial models and tools; learn and master the budget forecast model, making enhancements for accuracy, relevance, changing business, changing markets, etc.
  • Formulate questions and analyses for the team to research.
  • Gather, manage and manipulate data from multiple sources for analysis; identify trends, extract insights and deliver actionable presentations of findings.
  • Monitor and report on market changes including macroeconomics and peers/competitors.
  • Perform other ad hoc analyses.
  • Support an investment decisioning process to review business cases.
  • Apply financial and economic concepts including financial modeling, economic analysis, cash flow (DCF), profitability, earnings, balance sheet, taxes, financial ratios and alignment to KPIs.
  • Leverage analytical tools and methodologies including visualizations to present findings.
  • Collaborate on processes and projects while representing the goals of the finance group.
  • Demonstrate finance, business and industry expertise; learn the strategy, drivers, metrics and data elements of the company.
  • Identify and solve complex data integrity issues and collaborate with stakeholders.
  • Establish credibility through respectful, thoughtful interactions, attention to detail, professional integrity, and excellent financial insight.
  • Actively upgrade the department through professional development, coaching, feedback, mentoring and creating career paths for team members.
  • Create, promote and sustain a high-performance culture; continuously raise the performance bar for the finance organization.
  • Identify opportunities for process improvement, team members or potentially leading the effort.
  • Identify opportunities to resolve finance issues.
  • Prepare analyses, forward-looking financials and pro-forma financials for the investor community.
  • Demonstrate appropriate understanding of accounting principles and internal controls.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

POSITION REPORTS TO: CFO, Vice President of Finance/FP&A, Director of Finance/FP&A

POSITION(S) SUPERVISED: Senior Financial Analyst, Financial Analyst

ALTERNATIVE TITLES: FX Manager, Financial Planning Manager, Manager of Budgeting, Manager of Strategic Planning

QUALIFICATIONS

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance required.
  • MBA preferred.

RELEVANT CERTIFICATION(S)

  • FPAC
  • CPA
  • Project management certification

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

  • Expertise in MS Office Suite including advanced Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Data management experience.
  • Strong financial modeling skills.
  • Industry experience is preferred.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Experience with accounting principles, financial reporting, forecasting, budgeting and analysis across the income statement, balance sheet and statement of cash flows.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

Seven to 10 years of professional experience with a track record of increased responsibilities.

SKILLS & ABILITIES

  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Analytical and organizational.
  • Flexible thinker.
  • Ability to meet deadlines.

SENIOR ANALYST, FINANCIAL PLANNING & ANALYSIS

DEPARTMENT: FP&A AND FINANCE

Responsible for providing senior leadership team with timely financial and operational analysis to facilitate sound business decisions. Focuses on the strategic plan, budgeting, monthly forecasting and consolidated financial reporting. Supports organization through providing financial reporting and analysis to support key decisions. Conducts and documents financial analysis projects, data gathering, manipulation, summarization, and analysis of financial reports, sales activity, trends and opportunities.

PRIMARY FUNCTIONS & ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Assist in timely preparation of weekly, monthly and quarterly reporting, as well as ad-hoc financial analysis/special projects.
  • Have a willingness to understand the business, end-markets, competitive environment, industry peer group and general economic conditions that impact the company.
  • Develop and implement FP&A best practices, procedures and processes to drive forecast and planning, business insight and analysis to support senior leadership team.
  • Provide training to the finance teams as assigned.
  • Facilitate the annual strategic planning and budgeting financial process including managing the data collection and consolidation process with accounting resources and functional leadership; analyzing the information to validate completeness and accuracy with the goal of communicating trends and key drivers to executive leadership.
  • Track KPIs and prepare financial reports.
  • Understand key business drivers.
  • Ensure reporting systems and source data are accurate and reconciled including supporting accounting with variance analysis.
  • Support the annual strategic planning process.
  • Understand and analyze business units’ monthly/quarterly financial results (versus forecast, prior year, budget) and clearly articulate themes and performance drivers; this includes driving efforts to understand root causes of variances and making recommendations to enhance business performance.    
  • Support internal and external financial and management reporting.
  • Manage and coordinate monthly/quarterly reporting, validate accuracy and assist FP&A team in creation of analysis and presentations for executive leadership and board of directors.
  • Maintain and coordinate group completion of financial review templates and meetings.
  • Collaborate cross functionally as a business partner to drive continuous improvement in reporting, forecasting, budgeting and analysis processes.
  • Create and manage improvements to financial reporting templates, current reporting hierarchy and general FP&A-related business practices.
  • Conduct ad-hoc financial analysis/special projects to assist management in understanding business performance.
  • Analyze actual results in order to understand variances and revise projections as appropriate.
  • Own the cash forecasting process and communicate to executive leadership how the company is performing.
  • Maintain and review indirect project structure.
  • Ensure compliance with financial guidelines and company policies.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

POSITION REPORTS TO: FP&A Manager, FP&A Director

POSITION(S) SUPERVISED: FP&A Analyst

ALTERNATIVE TITLES: Senior Financial Analyst, Senior Planning Analyst, Senior Business Analyst

QUALIFICATIONS

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, management or finance required.
  • MBA or advanced degree in related field preferred.

RELEVANT CERTIFICATION(S)

  • FPAC
  • CPA
  • Security clearance
  • Certificate in accounting.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

  • MS Office Suite, advanced Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Strong knowledge of GAAP.
  • Knowledge of financial principles.
  • Knowledge of accounting and financial systems and software programs.
  • Advanced financial modeling skills.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

Five to 7 years of experience in accounting or finance.

SKILLS & ABILITIES

  • Strong oral and written communications.
  • Ability to give effective presentations/storytelling.
  • Ability to work independently and with a team.
  • Financial and quantitative analysis.
  • Quantitative analysis planning.
  • Problem solving and analytical.

ANALYST, FINANCIAL PLANNING & ANALYSIS/FINANCE

DEPARTMENT: FP&A AND FINANCE

Serves as part of the finance team and is responsible for providing granular data and analysis on business issues, planning, budgeting and forecasting across the company for management’s use in strategic and tactical decision-making. Analyzes operational and financial data. Represents the finance point of view in helping the department make sound business decisions. Reports to the FP&A manager and works closely with the business units that FP&A supports.

PRIMARY FUNCTIONS & ESSENTIAL RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Engage business and operations partners to create detailed financial plans and influence investment decisions.
  • Analyze performance, identify areas of risk and opportunity, and make recommendations to finance and business leadership for improvements.
  • Support the financial planning process at the department level, inclusive of budgets, re-forecasts, capital planning and long-term plans. Helps to define and load data into models.
  • Consolidate smaller forecasts and models into the overall plan and reports.
  • Conduct analysis of business units, portfolio segments, geographic territories, business lines and acquisitions.
  • Gather data to track and review performance of strategic initiatives (the investment portfolio).
  • Learn, prepare and maintain financial models and tools; learn and master the budget forecast model, making enhancements as necessary.
  • Develop relevant reporting including data preparation, report creation and quality control; strive to deliver insight, consistent data and effective visualizations.
  • Monitor operational statistics; report trends, variances and issues; take appropriate action including proactively notifying business or financial partners/superiors.
  • Provide data and analyses to support periodic (monthly, quarterly, year-end) financial and operational performance reviews with the business and finance teams, and the board of directors.
  • Build databases and prepare reports for senior management.
  • Perform other ad hoc analyses.
  • Assist in building business cases and perform due diligence on potential opportunities, deals, partnerships, etc.
  • Apply financial and economic concepts including financial modeling, economic analysis, cash flow (DCF), profitability, earnings, balance sheet, taxes, financial ratios, alignment to KPIs, RO/ROIC/NPV/IRR, customer lifetime value, churn rate, cost of capital benchmarks, market analysis, and strategic analysis.
  • Manage cash flow forecast models, variance analysis, and other financial performance tools.
  • Leverage analytical tools and methodologies including visualizations to present findings.
  • Collaborate on processes and projects while representing the goals of the finance group.
  • Demonstrate finance, business and industry expertise; learn the strategy, drivers, metrics and data elements of the company.
  • Establish credibility through respectful, thoughtful interactions, attention to detail, professional integrity and excellent financial insight.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS

POSITION REPORTS TO: Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis, Director of Financial Planning & Analysis, Senior FP&A Analyst

POSITION(S) SUPERVISED: N/A

ALTERNATIVE TITLES: Financial Analyst, Analyst, Planning Analyst, Business Analyst, Budget Analyst, Corporate Analyst

QUALIFICATIONS

EDUCATION

  • Bachelor’s degree in accounting, business, management or finance required.
  • MBA or an advanced degree in business, management or finance preferred.

RELEVANT CERTIFICATION(S)

  • FPAC
  • CPA
  • Security clearance

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE

  • Experience with cash accounting.
  • Data management experience.
  • Familiarity with EPM systems.
  • Knowledge of financial concepts and principles.
  • Knowledge of MS Office Suite including advanced Excel and PowerPoint.

EXPERIENCE REQUIRED

One of the following:

  • Two to 4 years of financial analysis, accounting or treasury experience.
  • Two to 4 years of business analysis or data analysis.

SKILLS & ABILITIES

  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Skilled at financial analysis.
  • Highly analytical and critical thinker with good problem-solving skills.
  • Detail oriented, highly organized and self-motivated.
  • Effective communicator.

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