Finance Manager studies and jobs in Australia

Saturday 18 February 2023
Finance Managers play a key role in helping management make informed financial decisions for the organisation. The role normally supports the Chief Financial Officer or CFO and the executive management team by providing financial information on the organisation and guidance on financial decisions. This involves analysing and presenting on financial strengths and weaknesses, identifying and managing financial risks and exploring opportunities for increasing revenue and reducing costs.
Finance Manager studies and jobs in Australia

The financial services industry is one of the leading sectors in the Australian economy and plays a key role in facilitating the productive flow of funds between industries, companies and people.

Australia’s financial services sector is the largest contributor to the national economy, contributing around $140 billion to GDP over the last year. It’s been a major driver of economic growth and, with 450,000 people employed in the finance industry, will continue to be a core sector of Australia’s economy into the future.

This comes off the back of a 2021 Australian financial market growth of 13.2% to $10.9 trillion. Consequently, finance job opportunities in Australia are expected to increase, so the finance professionals who have upskilled will have a very bright future.

Some of the Tasks and duties of a Finance Manager are:

  • Analyse financial information
  • Manage budgets across different business departments
  • Develop financial forecasts such as revenue projections
  • Investigate ways to improve profitability
  • Analyse market trends for potential business opportunities
  • Report on financial results and provide financial guidance to senior managers and stakeholders
  • Produce financial reports and business plans
  • Identify financial risks and devise mitigation strategies
  • Lead teams and coach employees tasked with preparing financial information.

How do you become qualified as a Finance Manager in Australia?

To become a Finance Manager in Australia, you will need a Bachelor degree or higher in Finance or Applied Finance or related field, in addition to having some experience in the industry.

Students can study a Bachelors degree in Business, Commerce, Finance, Accounting, Economics or Business administration which will take three years of full-time study.

If you already have an undergraduate degree you can advance your skills with a relevant postgraduate program in finance like a Master of Applied Finance or Master of Professional Accounting or equivalent. If you study a 2 year Master you would be eligible to stay on after your studies to access the Post Study Work rights visa. This also applies to those students who have studied a Bachelor degree in Australia.

Many employers prefer candidates who have completed a Chartered Accountant program also known as CA or Certified Practising Account or CPA qualification as well as their formal studies. Joining industry bodies such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission or ASIC and Australian Finance Industry Association or AFIA can also provide development opportunities that will benefit your career.

Many Finance programs in Australia focus on the borrowing, lending and investing of money. Through your studies you will develop a dynamic understanding of the complex finance industry both internationally and in Australia. You will gain knowledge in areas such as investment banking and fund management as well as gain an understanding of the stock markets.

Generally, a Master of Finance is designed to ensure you can confidently apply, manage and lead financial functions at all business levels, both in Australia and around the world, and be an asset to any forward-thinking financial organisation.

You can select from key areas including analytics, financial technology and business management, and learn how financial knowledge areas such as financial technology and international finance can be applied in any business to achieve success.

Many Universities in Australia offer a Bachelor of Applied Finance or Master of Applied Finance program. You can study at Universities like the University of Melbourne, Monash University, University of Queensland, Australian National University, University of NSW, University of Sydney, Griffith University, University of Western Australia, Queensland University of Technology, University of Technology Sydney, Macquarie University, RMIT, University of Adelaide or Deakin University. These Universities are ranked in the top 150 Universities in the world for Finance in the Times Higher Education and QS World rankings. There are so many finance programs available in Australia though so your choice may be dependent on ranking of the University, location or affordability of the program.

Many Australian University Business Schools have International Business accreditations like the American AACSB or the European EQUIS accreditation. These accreditations place the Business School in the top grouping of Business Schools in the World, regardless of the overall ranking of the University itself.

For instance, if a Business School has both AACSB and EQUIS accreditation it will be in the top 1% of Business Schools worldwide. These Business accreditations are awarded to Business schools that meet strict standards of quality, academic and professional excellence. This gives students the assurance that these Business degrees are amongst the best in Australia and around the world and will develop excellent Business understanding and skills. Students from these Business schools will be highly regarded by employers as well.

Many Business programs also include internships, practical assignments or projects and unpaid work placements that provide students with practical experience in an Australian organisation.

At Study in Australia TV, our expert counsellors can assist you to find the right program that suits you. This might depend on where you want to study in Australia or what type of program you’d like to study. We can help you to work out what suits you best.

What are the job opportunities in Finance like in Australia at the moment?

For international students who would like to stay on in Australia under the Post Study Work Visa scheme after graduating the job opportunities in Finance are very good.

There are currently over 6,700 Finance Manager jobs advertised on SEEK in Australia at the moment with a projected job growth over the next 5 years of 11.7% and average salary of $130,000 per year.

What are the skills and experience employers are looking for when they advertise a job in Finance?

Some of the skills employers are looking for are:

  • Chartered Accountant or CPA Qualification
  • Xero Accounting Software knowledge
  • Financial Reporting experience
  • Knowledge of Accounting Standards
  • Analytical Thinking ability and
  • Team Leadership skills to name a few.

The good thing about working as a Finance Manger is you learn everything about the business and the organisation you’re working in plus you’ll gain good insight into the industry the business is operating in and its competitor activity as well. It can however be long hours, pressure at certain times when the finance reports are due, but you’ll become good at managing competing demands and deadlines.

Being a Finance Manager is a very rewarding job, helping a company reduce expenses and increase profits for the owners or shareholders.

What are the Finance Professional Bodies in Australia?

There are three key Finance professional bodies in Australia.

Firstly, Financial Services Institute of Australasia or FINSIA. FINSIA is a professional institute for practitioners in the financial industry in Australia and New Zealand. FINSIA was formed in 2005 by the merger of the Australasian Institute of Banking and Finance or AIBF, founded in 1886, and the Securities Institute of Australia or SIA, founded 1966.

Being a FINSIA member can give you access to industry leading content, insights and influential networks that will help you build your capabilities and advance your career. 

FINSIA offers a range of memberships that cater to different career stages, whether you’re starting out in your career or are a seasoned industry expert. They also offer Continuing Professional Development through opportunities to develop your expertise through online resources, professional qualifications, events and publications.

FINSIA's purpose is to raise standards of professionalism for the industry, deepen consumer trust and improve individual practitioner pride. It’s doing this is by facilitating the development of professional standards.

Another Finance Professional Body is the Financial Executives Institute of Australia or FEI. Founded in 1968, FEI is the pre-eminent professional boutique organisation for CFOs and Senior Finance Executives in Australia.

Established by CFOs for the finance community, FEI offers the opportunity to invest in your future and enhance your career success in a supportive, professional and high-trust environment.

FEI offers a range of services including:

  • Corporate & Individual Membership
  • One-on-one and Group Mentoring and
  • Outstanding learning & networking programs

The third most common Finance Professional Body in Australia is the Association for Financial Professionals or AFP. As the certifying body in treasury and finance, the Association for Financial Professionals or AFP established and administers the Certified Treasury Professional or CTP and Certified Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis Professional or FPAC credentials, setting the standard of excellence in the profession globally.

AFP’s mission is to drive the future of finance and treasury and develop the leaders of tomorrow through certification, training, and premier events for corporate treasury and finance. AFP Membership gives you access to peer-driven unbiased content and a community of like-minded professionals to connect with.

AFP offers:

  • at least one webinar each month around a relevant topic in treasury and finance. Experts lead a discussion to offer best practices and techniques you can put into practice.
  • Content Quizzes. AFP's unbiased peer-driven content is second-to-none in the treasury and finance space. Content quizzes put your comprehension skills to the test.
  • Event Recorded Sessions- you can check out the AFP Conference recorded sessions online at your convenience.
  • Virtual events are offered throughout the calendar year, including Virtual Roundtables which allow you to hear real-time feedback on relevant topics from your peers.
  • Mini courses - AFP instructors break down one big topic into bite-sized lessons. You'll get some critical takeaways in just a few minutes.

There’s a lot to learn about Finance both from a study and work industry perspective, it’s a fantastic and dynamic area to work in.

So, if you’re looking to launch your career in Finance ask us at Study in Australia TV for advice on studying a Finance program in Australia. Fill in a contact enquiry form and we’ll help you to find the right program that suits you and your career aspirations.

Data from SEEK

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