Economics and banking are among the most rapidly developing professional fields. Banking and economics create the foundation for the successful and profitable development of individuals, organizations, firms, and entire states. Like economics and banking speed up the progress of organizations and nations, so do financial managers predetermine the success and progress of both economics and banking. This being said, it comes as no surprise that almost every firm and government organization has one or more financial managers (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Many financial institutions, including banks, employ additional financial managers to manage separate functions, such as mortgages and electronic financial services (Labor Department 52). Financial managers’ duties vary, depending on the organization for which they work. However, most financial managers are expected to prepare and manage financial data, develop and monitor cash management strategies, and guide investment activities (BLS). Financial management requires extensive training and sophisticated knowledge and skills. Nevertheless, for a person who strives to make a good career in economics and benefit society, there is no professional choice better than becoming a financial manager in banking.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial management is one of the most competitive career fields. Basically, financial management in economics and banking is concerned with providing financial advice to enable individual clients and organizations to take relevant financial decisions (Prospects). To meet this goal, financial managers fulfill a broad range of functions and engage in numerous activities, from overseeing the preparation and analysis of the financial data to implementing cash management strategies (BLS). This is why financial managers in the banking field need extensive training and sufficient professional experiences in order to fulfill their professional and workplace obligations.
A prospective financial manager starts with a bachelor’s degree in financial management, economics, accounting, or business administration (BLS). These are the basic requirements to apply for a financial manager position. Many financial managers have a master’s degree in finance, economics, or business administration (BLS). Professional certification can add weight to financial managers’ job applications (BLS). In these postgraduate programs, financial managers develop better analytical skills and improve their knowledge of financial management methods. This is probably why banking and financial organizations prefer job applicants who have successfully completed one or more postgraduate programs. It should be noted that, to get into this career, professional experiences may be even more important than education and degrees. The banking field constantly evolves, and formal education cannot catch up with these changes. Only experienced financial bankers can capture the most sophisticated tangible and intangible changes in the banking field. Experience is particularly important in certain areas of banking, for example, branch management. Banks and financial organizations choose branch financial managers from the internal pool of experienced professionals, including loan officers (BLS). It is extremely difficult for an external candidate to become a branch manager.
To get into the financial banking career, financial managers may need to be certified as public accountants (BLS). Excellent interpersonal skills are a must for everyone willing to become a financial manager in banking (BLS). Financial management entails constant interactions with people, and financial managers are expected to manage financial department employees and work in financial banking teams (BLS). To get into this career, financial managers need perfect communication skills in order to interpret and explain complex financial data (BLS). Third, a financial manager cannot be effective without a broad understanding of how business is done. In other words, a good financial manager, either in banking or other professional field, must be aware of the most important business processes, their coordination and effects on financial performance. Because financial managers must work with almost all departments, the basic awareness of the most important business processes is the crucial factor of their professional and organizational success. Needless to say, financial managers in the banking field need to regularly update their knowledge and skills. Continuing education is required to maintain and improve financial managers’ credentials (BLS). The growing complexity of the global financial markets and banking systems mandates the development of training courses for financial banking specialists (BLS). The emergence of new sophisticated instruments of financial decision making require that financial managers take additional training courses to upgrade their skills and expand their knowledge of the banking discipline.
Those who get into the financial management career in banking will have to fulfill a broad range of tasks and functions. Typical work activities include: generating, interpreting and communicating complex financial information, developing and implementing cash management strategies, developing strategies to minimize financial risks, analyzing competitors and the main financial trends affecting the banking industry, conducting reviews and evaluations of the emerging cost-reduction opportunities, producing and monitoring the quality of financial reports, liaising with external and internal auditors to perform annual monitoring, managing financial accounting and reporting systems in banks, managing budgets and identifying new, prospective sources of finance for banking facilities (Prospects). These are merely a few examples of what financial managers are expected to do once they get into the field of banking. Different banks place different expectations on their financial managers. The latter should also expect that their obligations may change, depending on the realities of professional and financial performance in the banking field.
The life and career of a financial manager in banking have numerous advantages and several serious drawbacks. On the positive side, “jobs in banking are exciting and offer excellent growth opportunities. Now, recruitments in banks are focusing more on management trainees in field of marketing, finance and financial analysis” (Kapil 14). In other words, a well-educated and experienced financial manager has all chances to find decent employment and faces excellent prospects of fast career growth. Furthermore, financial managers work in comfortable offices, often in teams with top executives (BLS). Financial managers can access and use advanced computer systems that facilitate generating and analyzing complex financial data (BLS). Very often, financial managers are required to travel and meet their colleagues in other branches and subsidiaries. These rare traveling occasions make the life of banking managers more pleasant.
However, the life and work of a financial manager are not without difficulties. To begin with, financial managers normally work long hours and may spend up to 60 hours a week at work (BLS). Second, financial managers, especially in the banking field, must attend conferences and meetings that are either boring or too long to be useful. Third, the growing competition in the financial management field should not be disregarded: even the most experienced and prospective job applicants must pass a minefield of barriers before they get the desired position. Finally, the amount of financial, professional, organizational, and legal responsibility carried by financial managers makes their profession extremely challenging and even dangerous. Recent corporate financial scandals place a huge burden of responsibility on financial managers (May, Cheney & Roper 162). Financial managers must comply with numerous regulations and laws. They may be pressured by top managers to make decisions that benefit the organization but violate the law. Therefore, financial managers in the banking field may be torn between different organizational and legal priorities. Simultaneously, they are personally responsible for maintaining a positive financial and corporate social image of the bank for which they work.
Financial management is extremely important for the banking field and the rest of society. Having a well-developed financial management structure and a professional financial manager can produce far-reaching rewards for every bank (Reid 9). Many problems faced by banks can be traced to financial management disagreements and inconsistencies. Financial management has the potential to either avert or reduce the risks of financial failures in banks. Financial managers can ensure that banks have sufficient financial resources to meet their operational, departmental, and personnel needs (Reid 9). Financial management offers solutions to the major investment, financing, and dividend problems faced by banks, and it is vital for banks’ survival in a highly competitive financial industry. As for the rest of society, financial management is the best way to balance the existing financial resources with the unlimited financial needs of citizens. Individuals and organizations come to banks looking for professional financial assistance, reliability, and choice. Financial managers possess the knowledge and skills needed to provide detailed financial recommendations and improve the efficiency of cash flows at the organizational and national levels. People need financial managers to take correct financial decisions. Finally, financial management is a reliable driver of financial innovations in banking and other fields. Financial managers motivate and encourage the emergence of new, more sophisticated financial instruments that reflect the changing realities of organizational and market functioning. These instruments further improve the lives of citizens, enhance the accessibility of financial resources and make them cheaper. These instruments enable individuals and organizations to utilize their financial potential to the fullest.
Financial management, especially in the banking sector, is characterized by a perfect job outlook. Financial transactions and operations are becoming more complex, and the need for experienced professional financial managers is becoming urgent. Although financial managers face tough job competition, the number of financial management positions in banking and other fields will continue to increase. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that, by 2018, employment of financial managers will increase by 8 percent. Regulatory changes, globalization, and fluctuations affecting the banking industry will drive job growth (BLS). Banks will continue opening new branches, and they will also need experienced financial specialists. However, financial managers in banking should be aware of the rapid transformations affecting today’s organizations. Corporate downsizing, mergers, and acquisitions may limit job opportunities for financial managers in organizations (BLS). As a result, the inflow of financial managers into the banking industry is likely to increase. This will subject financial managers to the tough employment competition and necessitate a rapid advancement of their skills and knowledge to help them retain their jobs. As of today, financial managers in organizations and banks earn between $77,200 and $134,940 (BLS). Large banks and organizations usually pay more than small ones (BLS). How the salary prospects for financial managers change in the nearest time is difficult to predict. Nevertheless, it is clear that the financial management career in banking will hardly lose its attractiveness.
In light of this information, I still want to become a financial manager in banking. Despite the growing employment competition, I am confident that I will be able to develop the knowledge and skills needed to become a professional. I understand that financial managers carry huge legal and ethical responsibility, and many of them spend most of their time at work. I am still interested in the financial management profession for two reasons. First, financial manager is one of the most prospective career choices in economics. Second, through professional financial management I can benefit my community and the rest of society. I believe that I have sufficient strength and perseverance to become a good financial manager. Financial management will help me to realize my professional potential to the fullest.