Finance directors (FDs) are the main movers and shakers when it comes to organising the financial strategies of big business. Usually from a background in accounting, they are forward-thinkers, working to anticipate future financial trends and create strategies in response. They tend to be directly involved at board level, with their chief aim being to get a business running - not only more profitably - but also more securely by anticipating risks.
The FD also directs the daily financial activities of a company, creating up to date financial reports, and ensuring that findings are communicated clearly to those who need to know. Other tasks include running a constant financial audit on their company's funds, and ensuring that budgets are adhered to. This is a heavy weight role that naturally requires a proven track record in accounting and finance, as well as a knack for strategic thinking.
The finance director has to know their business inside and out, as they can be called upon to do anything from overhauling company financial strategy, to advising the CEO. Other responsibilities can include preparing balance sheets, income statements and tax returns. Ensuring that the company runs in sync with government and financial regulations also features in the FD's responsibilities.
Overseeing ongoing improvement of company practice by reviewing reports and projections of income means the FD needs an extensive background in high finance. This can range anywhere from third level qualifications and / or a proven track record in economics, to a strong background in practical accounting.