Financial managers plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the operation of financial and accounting departments. They develop and implement financial policies and systems. Financial managers establish performance standards and prepare various financial reports for senior management. They are employed in financial and accounting departments in companies throughout the private sector and in government.
Financial auditors examine and analyze the accounting and financial records of individuals and organizations to ensure accuracy and compliance with established accounting standards and procedures. Financial auditors and accountants work for auditing and accounting firms throughout the private and public sectors, or they may be self-employed.
A Day in the Life
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Financial managers prepare or coordinate the preparation of financial statements and reports.
They may do some or all of the following tasks:
Prepare financial statements, summaries, and other cost-benefit analyses and financial management reports.
Coordinate the financial planning and budget process
Analyze and correct estimates
Evaluate existing systems and make recommendations for changes
Recruit, organize, train and manage staff
Act as liaison between the organization and its shareholders, the investing public and external financial analysts
Financial auditors analyze other people’s work to ensure financial recording accuracy and compliance with established accounting standards, procedures and internal controls, as well as the Income Tax Act, Canadian Business Corporations Act or other statutory requirements.
Accountants examine accounting records and prepare financial statements and reports.
They may do some or all of the following tasks:
Develop and maintain cost-finding, reporting and internal control procedures
Prepare income tax returns.
Trends and Projections
The future job openings for this type of job are in High demand.
These jobs are required across many different sectors. Most of the work in this job is in Whitehorse (84.1% of jobs), although rural Yukon jobs in this field can be well paid. Earnings in this type of job are higher than the average for all workers. The average annual earnings for all workers in this group was $65,700 in 2011.
First Nations Connections
Finance managers in Yukon have First Nations and non-First Nations employees, clients and customers and therefore need to have knowledge of First Nations, although the extent of knowledge required will vary.
For example, the finance director of a First Nation government will need to know the definitions of assets as they apply to First Nations. In order to manage business activities on behalf of a First Nation, he or she will need knowledge of land claims and the economic or resource agreement benefits that affect the First Nation, its members or its businesses, as well as any reciprocal agreements that can be derived through joint projects with counterparts in other regions of Canada or internationally. The finance director will also need a sound understanding of the kinds of investments desired by Yukon First Nations.
Finance managers living in or working closely with Yukon First Nation communities should also know about traditional culture, the history of local land claims negotiations, intergenerational effects of residential schools, and family connections and histories. He or she will need skills for effective communication with the First Nations membership and techniques to gain the input and confidence of local Elders.
Office hours are commonly 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, although some positions may require longer hours for reading through large quantities of documents that require review and direction. Financial deadlines throughout the year (budgeting, tax time, fiscal year-ends, etc) may require additional work.
The type of work involves a combination of people-based and computer-based tasks.
Some sample job titles are:
Director, financial services
Director (or Manager) of accounting
Certified general accountant (CGA)
Certified management accountant (CMA)
Chartered accountant (CA)
Income tax expert
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Finance managers require at least a bachelor's degree in business administration, economics, commerce or a related field. There are three professional accounting designations, chartered accountant (CA), certified general accountant (CGA) and certified management accountant (CMA).
A master's degree in business administration (with finance specialization), or another master's-level management program may be required. Financial managers also require several years of experience in accounting, auditing, budgeting, financial planning and analysis, or related financial activities.
Yukon finance managers usually combine many years of experience in their industries with a thorough knowledge of the local community. The territory's relative isolation from larger financial and business centres means that territorial managers must also have a broad understanding of their own industries, since they are likely to be providing a wider range of services than in other parts of the country.
Entry-level accounting courses are available through Yukon College's School of Management, Tourism and Hospitality. The business administration program prepares students for supervisory or management careers in business or government, and the First Nations governance and public administration program tailors its training specifically for senior managers in First Nations government.
Yukon College has comprehensive transfer agreements with the British Columbia sections of the Certified General Accountants Association (CGA), the Institute of Chartered Accountants (CA) and the Society of Certified Management Accountants (CMA). Many of the training courses are available as distance education and allow participants to continue with related work experience.