6 Leadership Skills for Finance Managers in 2023

By Linda RoperJune 30, 2023

The business world is evolving, and so too is the role of finance managers. Traditionally, finance managers are leaders who help their teams and companies meet financial goals. They typically use their expertise in accounting and finance to analyse data, set and manage budgets, track expenses, forecast future revenue streams, and much more.

Finance managers work in many different industries including banking, insurance, and healthcare, yet the skills they must possess to thrive in their role largely remain the same. In this post, we focus on the 6 in-demand skills that make finance managers effective leaders in 2023.

Finance manager helping team member to develop their skills

6 Important Leadership Skills for Finance Managers in 2023

Six leadership skills for finance managers include:

  1. Recognising and developing potential

  2. Knowledge of artificial intelligence

  3. Good mental health management

  4. Emotional intelligence

  5. Being a strong team player

  6. Prioritisation and time management

We've broken down each leadership skill and what they mean below.

1. Recognising and Developing Potential in Others

A leader is someone who can recognise and develop potential in others. Being able to do so is one of the most important skills of finance managers in 2023 because it enables them to build high-performing teams, which are crucial for success in any organisation.

Keeping an eye out for unique talent

Leaders should be able to see the skills and talents of their employees, as well as what they need to do to improve those skills. It's not enough to simply hire people with good qualifications; you also have an obligation as a leader (and manager) of those individuals' careers so they can grow into their full potential over time. This involves encouraging them when needed, providing adequate training and mentoring opportunities when appropriate, and setting clear goals that stretch but don't overwhelm employees.

Motivating your team through growth

Finally, leaders must motivate their teams through every stage of growth. This includes nurturing newcomers with onboarding programs and providing timely feedback throughout their tenure.

2. Knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Business leaders should have a solid understanding of what AI is and how it can be used to make their businesses more efficient, competitive, and profitable. It's important that they understand the technology behind AI so they can make informed decisions about when and where to implement it. For example, it can be used to predict your future cash flow and optimise your budgeting process.

Find new ways of doing things

AI is already being used by many businesses, as the technology also allows you to find new ways of doing things, predict customer behaviour, and understand them better than ever before.

Adapt your leadership style

It's also important that leaders familiarise themselves with this emerging field so they can adapt their leadership style accordingly when the time comes for them to implement AI solutions and skills in their organisations.

3. Good Mental Health Management

image illustrating mental health management skillsDid you know poor mental health costs UK employers up to £56 billion a year? Mental health is one of the biggest problems facing workplaces today, and it's also one of the most important elements of workplace culture and leadership.

The increasing importance of mental health management

Therefore, the importance of good mental health management is a skill that all finance managers should be aware of. It's vital for those working within this role to understand that they have a responsibility when it comes to maintaining their employees' mental well-being, and this starts by making sure they're doing everything they can to support them.

Be aware of the factors that influence team mental health

Finance managers should therefore be aware of the factors that can contribute to poor mental health in their organisation and take steps to address them. Those with good mental health management skills are able to help their employees stay happy, healthy, and productive at work, which benefits both them and their company.

4. Emotional Intelligence (EI)

Emotional intelligence (EI) is a measure of how well you can manage your emotions, and it plays a key role in the success of any management position, including those within finance. As a finance manager, you're responsible for managing the finances of your organisation. However, it's also important to understand the financial impact that decisions have on employees, customers, and other stakeholders.

Practice emotional intelligence

Finance leaders with high emotional intelligence are able to manage the emotions of others by reading their body language and facial expressions. They're also good at communicating clearly, which helps them build trust within their teams. Finally, having high emotional intelligence also allows you to collaborate more effectively and resolve conflicts when they arise.

5. Being a Strong Team Player

Being a strong team player is important for finance managers. Teamwork is about collaboration and cooperation, so you need to be able to cooperate with your co-workers and collaborate with them on projects or tasks.

Being able to work well as part of a group is crucial for success as a financial professional today, whether you're managing your own department or serving as part of an executive team within your company's leadership structure.

6. Prioritisation and Time Management Skills

Man sitting in front of his screen using prioritisation skillsPrioritisation and time management are also critical skills for finance managers, especially when managing a department or team.

Prioritising involves making decisions about what tasks are most important at a given time so that you can allocate resources accordingly. If you do not know how to prioritise, it will be impossible for you to manage your time effectively.

How to prioritise tasks effectively

Managers can prioritise tasks effectively by considering the following:

  • The impact of each task on their business goals (for example, increased sales or improved customer service).

  • The cost associated with completing each task (for example, hiring new employees versus outsourcing work).

  • How long will it take for each task to be completed?

Build Your Financial Leadership Skills

The business world is changing rapidly, and so too are the roles within it. This is especially true for finance managers in 2023, as newer skills such as emotional intelligence, mental health management, and working with AI are becoming highly sought after. However, this doesn’t mean that the traditional skills of a good finance manager are no longer relevant. In fact, many of these skills will still be important this year and beyond.

Thankfully, the skills that are in high demand in 2023 are those that can be learned and improved upon over time. By starting today, you'll be giving yourself the greatest chance at being the best finance manager you can be!