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Reporting to senior management and the executive committee (as a member) on finance and strategy, the Group Administrative and Financial Director has become a major figure in the field of corporate management in just a few years. They are in the front line of internal and external development, supervise any re-structuring and often lead financial communications for all of the vents in the life of a company.
Their responsibilities are traditionally as follows:
Production of company and consolidated accounts - responsible for compliance and accuracy. Depending on the size of the group, they manage division and/or subsidiary Financial Directors, an Accounts Director, a Consolidation Director, a Management Control Director, one of more shared Service Centres (responsible for general and subledger accounting for the various Group entities),
Group-related supervision of the internal management control team and assistance with setting up new standards and regulations. They are tasked with defining corporate strategy (and operational structure), leading financial communication and the relationship with shareholders and investors and supervising internal audits (even though this department often reports directly to the Managing Director), legal and tax affairs, HR management and general service.
The Financial Director generally reports to the Managing Director.
Traditionally a business school or university graduate, a Group Financial Director will often have followed an initial course of education with a view to acquiring accounting and financial expertise through a Diploma in Accounting and Finance. Where major groups are concerned, the classic route to this role is via a number of roles – such as Financial Controller for subsidiaries or Management Control Director and sometimes internal Audit Director or Accountancy Director. In the case of listed companies, the Financial Director often has previous experience working for a merchant bank or Big4 audit form. The skills of a Group Financial Director need to go way beyond the technical ones related to their finance role – they need to have good people skills, an acute understanding of a company’s business activity and long-term vision.
Depending on your experience, you can earn between €130k and €300k per year. The variable component has changed a lot in recent years, and can be as much as 15% to 30% of basic salary; this figure can also be supplemented by other benefits such as a company vehicle, stock options and supplementary pension plans.
It is increasingly common for the Group Financial Director to step into a senior management role.