Why an FD is important to a business

  • 10-11-23
  • David Landau | Richard Lloyd

As a CEO or business owner, you know that your financial health is vital to the success of your company. That's why hiring the right Finance Director (also known as the FD or Director of Finance) is one of the most important decisions you'll make. 

But what exactly does a Finance Director do, and how do you know if you're hiring the right person for the job? In this guide, we'll explore the role of a Finance Director and give you valuable insights into what to look for when choosing the best candidate for your business.

In this article, we'll cover everything from the skills and experience required to the technical and behavioural qualities that make a great Finance Director. By the end of this guide, you'll have a clear understanding of what to expect from your Finance Director. So, let's dive in!

What does the Finance Director do and why are they important to a business?

A Finance Director is a crucial member of any business team. A Director of Finance is responsible for managing the financial health of the company, ensuring that it remains profitable and sustainable in the long term. A  Finance Director's role involves developing financial strategies, monitoring financial performance, and providing financial guidance to the leadership team. They typically oversee financial planning, budgeting, forecasting, and financial reporting.

Without a suitably qualified Finance Director, companies may struggle to make informed financial decisions, leading to poor financial and accounting performance and potentially,  putting the future of the business at risk.

In addition to providing financial guidance, a Finance Director also often plays a key role in managing risk, especially in the SME space where there is not a dedicated Risk Director (or equivalent). They identify potential financial risks and develop strategies to mitigate them. They also ensure that the company complies with relevant financial regulations and laws.

Overall, a Finance Director is essential for any business that wants to remain financially healthy and competitive in the long term.  

Skills and qualifications of a Finance Director

To be an effective Finance Director, there are certain skills and qualifications that candidates should have. First and foremost, a Finance Director should have a strong understanding of finance and accounting principles and standards.

Reputable qualifications that many Accountants gain in Sydney, Australia are acquired via studying either a Chartered Accounting qualification, also known as CA, or a  CPA qualification. Others that are well-recognised include ACA, ACCA, and CIMA.

These qualifications coupled with years of the right experience across financial reporting, management reporting and FP&A coupled with strong stakeholder management abilities should mean they are well-rounded and able to analyse financial data and use it to help business partners and make informed decisions.

In addition to technical skills, a Finance Director should also possess excellent leadership and communication skills. They should be able to lead a team effectively and communicate financial information to the senior leadership team (SLT) in a clear and concise manner. A Finance Director should also have strong problem-solving skills and be able to think creatively to develop financial strategies that support the company's goals.

If your business is looking for more information on the role of a Finance Director, the experienced team of executive accounting recruitment experts at Richard Lloyd can help. Contact our team today by calling (02) 8324 5640 or email enquiries@richardlloyd.com.au