Commercial Finance: Graduate Area of Work
Commercial finance is the chief driving force behind a company’s sales operations and performance. Those working in this field are responsible for managing a company’s cash flow and revenue generation, and they will also advise the company on business strategies that should be employed for maximum profit.
Commercial finance managers are required to evaluate the performance and worth of the company’s products and services. Following that, they will have to make the necessary policy arrangements or build essential commercial strategies to advance the profitability of the product or business. Their advice then becomes the guiding factor for other departments — such as sales and marketing — to make their own business decisions and targets. In essence, this means that commercial finance managers are responsible for striking a balance between making a profit (for the company, sponsors, and investors) and attracting customers.
Other minor duties that fall under the scope of commercial finance also include specific product research, tracking sales performances, as well as the calculation and projection of possible upcoming yields and trends. Based on these predictions, they may sometimes also be involved in the development of new products and campaigns.
Most companies will place new recruits in a training programme, putting them in a position with a fair amount of responsibility which will hone their skills in management, communication, and persuasion. While you work towards your professional qualifications, you may be tasked with advising on financial controls and analysing financial information to help your colleagues make key business decisions.
As a commercial finance manager, you will need to be constantly aware of the business direction as well as broader trends in the marketplace. Excellent communication and presentation skills are also necessary as you will be spending a lot of time corresponding with non-finance colleagues.
That aside, your position demands a fair bit of teamwork skills as well. You will likely have to work in teams to process the information given to you, and to come up with plans and strategies based on your collective analysis of the situation.
Aside from people skills, you will also need to harness your analytical skills. The ability to think on your feet and an attention to detail will help you in the long run, as commercial finance managers may often be required to come up with quick, effective solutions to last-minute emergencies. Equally important are your time management and organisational skills as there willbe constant deadlines to meet. For instance, you may have to complete your analysis and offer recommendations before a certain phase of a large product rollout.
Good and bad
Working as a commercial finance manager often comes with plenty of pressure as you will be multitasking most of the time. Your decisions may also directly influence the productivity and output of your company (you may have to generate daily sales and finance reports for management decisions), which means that there will be high pressure on you to perform.
In spite of all that, this position is a great opportunity for those who may be seeking to venture into a management career one day, as you will gain a very thorough understanding of the business world as you proceed along this line of work.