A Director of Finance Job Description That Will Attract Top Talent

By Robert Half May 12, 2017 at 7:46pm

A vacant director of finance position is not something your company wants to have for very long. The role is key to your financial forecasting and planning. So your first step is to identify the right person to fill the position by drafting a strong director of finance job description.

Why is that your first step? The job posting is typically based on the job description. If it hasn't been updated recently, the ad you place isn't going to attract the people best suited for the role.

The scope of finance executives' responsibilities has expanded, especially to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and other regulations. Take a close look at whether and how the function has changed in your organization, with new reporting relationships, new technical skills, a more (or less) public role than in the past, or other factors.

Nail the basics in the job description

The required qualifications you want to include in your director of finance job description include the following:

  • 10+ years of experience in accounting and finance
  • Management experience
  • Bachelor's degree in finance or accounting
  • Strong leadership, technology, analytical and communication skills
  • Knowledge of and aptitude for current regulatory and compliance practices

In addition to these prerequisites, many firms prefer that finance director candidates have a master's degree in business administration (MBA), as well as a CPA or certified management accountant (CMA) designation. Previous public accounting experience is also highly valued.

Now, think about the specifics of your organization. If your firm has automated reconciliation of your accounts, for instance, you should list experience related to that as well. If a merger or acquisition happened in the recent past or may occur in the near future, you need a director of finance with M&A experience and expertise.

Take a moment to browse for director of finance candidates by location.

What you can leave out

Essential qualities, such as personal integrity and a passion for getting things done, should be givens, so there is usually no need to list them. Likewise, it's safe to assume that every high-level candidate is accustomed to juggling multiple responsibilities, so you don't need to take up space in your director of finance job description by including "an ability to multitask."

Diving deeper into the job description

Next, comes the list of duties. This is the place to signal the scope of the job. Here are some of the typical responsibilities of a finance director:

  • Overseeing insurance and risk management
  • Maintaining budgeting and forecasting models
  • Performing financial modeling and analysis
  • Assisting with business funding decisions
  • Recruiting, hiring, onboarding and retaining finance staff

Promote your firm

Finally, when working on the wording, keep in mind how potential candidates scan listings — with an eye to their next career move. Your next director of finance isn't looking for just a job; he or she wants a professional challenge and a solid step forward.

To catch job seekers' attention, the job ad you create from your director of finance job description needs to be more than a bulleted list of skills and duties, especially for a senior position. In the ad, craft a few sentences that not only explain the executive's role but also what makes your organization a great place to work and grow professionally.

How do your accounting and finance job descriptions stack up? Could you use help with hiring temporary accounting professionals?

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