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Management Roles Within Financial Planning

For many, the electronic age has made financial planning easier. Programs like Quicken, Mint, or You Need a Budget have made personal finance less mysterious. However, even with such programs doing a lot of the legwork, effective financial planning takes more than a few clicks to master. Navigating the intricacies of personal finance and the more complex world of global economics requires specialists. Those specialists in turn need financial planning managers to guide them.

While the thought of a financial planning manager may evoke images of a Type A personality overseeing the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, contemporary financial planning has a number of roles available beyond the stereotypical broker. Being a financial planning manager may be just the first step in a long and lucrative career in finance. Below are some careers that follow from a firm foundation as a financial planning manager. Salary data is as of September 2017.

Director of Financial Planning and Analysis

According to data from PayScale, the majority of financial planners looking to become financial planning managers move immediately into the position of director of financial planning and analysis. While the average annual salary of financial planning managers is around $86,000, directors make on average around $120,000, with top earners earning around $187,000 per year. This significant bump in compensation comes with greater supervisory responsibility over "the development, implementation, and subsequent ongoing maintenance of financial data reporting to ensure the overall accuracy of the data."

In short, while a financial analyst may compile reports and forecast market conditions, a financial planning manager in the role of director will coordinate a team of financial analysts. In smaller organizations, the director of financial planning may wear many hats. The Bridgespan Group, "a nonprofit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists," mentions that smaller "budget[s] can't support specialized staff, so this position is responsible for a variety of areas far removed from the finance and administrative functions." In fact, some other duties of directors of financial planning may span into "human resources, information technology, legal, and facilities -- and even building relationships with program recipients."

Corporate Controller

A lesser-known career path for financial planning managers is that of corporate controller. PayScale defines a corporate controller as someone who "oversees all the financial and accounting functions of a given organization, including billing, accounts payable and receivable, budgeting and other functions." In smaller organizations, these duties may be the purview of a corporate financial officer, but for larger organizations, such responsibilities are shared. Corporate controllers make on average around $93,000 per year, as reported by PayScale.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Much in the same vein as corporate controllers, chief financial officers "provide leadership and focus to accounting and finance departments to ensure that they operate efficiently and comply with applicable laws and company policies." Whereas corporate controllers may work internally for a company, CFOs' decisions must take into account how their decisions "project a favorable company image while saving money in every way possible" (PayScale).

On average, chief financial officers earn around $145,000 per year. The upper echelons of this field report salaries of $220,000 per year or more, with other benefits being travel, stock options and profit sharing. CFOs report very high job satisfaction as well.

Chief financial officers require a bachelor's degree for entry level jobs, but given the highly technical nature of their work, financial planning managers aspiring to CFO positions can better compete with a master's degree in business administration. Many accredited institutions even offer an online MBA program for working students. Such programs allow students to immediately apply the knowledge gained in the program to their careers, earning while learning along the way.

Whichever next career path one takes from financial planning manager on, many benefit from the extra education that an online MBA program offers. Many offer specializations in finance, which further increase a job seeker's chances of landing one of the many roles in the lucrative career available to financial planning managers.

Learn more about the UTPB online MBA program with a concentration in Finance.


PayScale: Financial Analysis Manager Salary

PayScale: Director, Financial Planning & Analysis Salary

PayScale: Corporate Controller Salary

PayScale: CFO Salary

The Bridgespan Group

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